Results tagged “value co-creation”

Favela Painters




Back in the late nineties I spent a lot of time trying to convince brands that the web was bringing about a market where you had to give to get.

In 2001 I wrote businesses will benefit most from an active participation in Internet Culture that contributes to and respects the online community. I guess by now that's a bit old hat and most planners out there have most likely folded that thought or one like it into what they do. That said, I'm continually amazed at how few branded digital initiatives make that connection between contributing and leeching.

And in fact WeTransfer is pretty much the only one I've come across that makes the exchange in a transparent way: we provide a genuinely useful service for free and in exchange, you get to see beautiful photographs that are linked to brand experiences (and no, you don't have to click on the ad link to use the service, just be aware of the brand).

From a UX point of view I also love the single point of focus, very old skool Google:-)

Thanks @alexandermoore

Shoshana Zuboff is an ex Harvard Business School professor with an ethical take on the need to focus on partnerships with customers. She calls this "The race to I-Space"

Business is no longer just about the product. Now it's about solutions for the individual. Economic value is hidden in consumers' unmet needs and is released by providing people with the means to fulfill those needs. But in order to release new value, you need to get out of organization space and into the subjective space where individuals live. I call it "I-Space." This means shedding the "us-them" mentality. Now everyone is an insider.

Not crazy about her term "i-space" sounds too gimmicky but loving how she can write about value creation (and indeed co-creation) without it sounding like mumbo-jumbo.

Her rule number 3: "Collaborate and Federate to Compete" is particularly relevant to mobile operators who left to their own devices really just want to operate a cartel that completely ignore user needs (it's 2010, why the hell can't I write my own tariff?)

When you're in I-Space, you need to collaborate and federate to provide the support individuals need. You can't do it alone because the needs of individuals don't conform to existing organizational and industry boundaries. This means learning how to manage what you don't control or own. These economies of trust are becoming even more important than economies of scale.

The emphasis shifts from contracts and legal sanctions to trust and transparency as companies work together, aligned with their customers' interests--sharing core values, business practices, infrastructure, and systems. Amazon's marketplace and eBay's webs of buyers and sellers are early prototypes of these federated networks. Apple and Facebook are struggling to understand the rules of engagement that should govern relationships with their applications developers. You can see them climbing a new learning curve through trial and error as they figure out how to build and sustain economies of trust.

Good stuff :-) Business week viewpoint

Value exchange and P2P currencies

Great piece on the WSJ blog on P2P currencies

"You're going to see inexorably, the movement towards peer to peer finance," Stan Stalnaker says. "People will trade individually and independently among each other, all around the world. It's going to happen, there's no denying it"

v. exciting :-)

Currently working on social marketplaces (ad-hod associations) and came across this interesting piece over on experientia's blog (actually, it links to vodafone's receiver). Interesting stuff, we've been thinking about cognitive surplus mixed with a renewed conscience of doing the right thing, mixed with the renewed desire to participate and qualified by the renewed interest in sustainability, self-sufficiency and the desire to make stuff.

Tinkering is about seizing the moment: it is about ad-hoc learning, getting things done, innovation and novelty, all in a highly social, networked environment.

What I like about the idea of tinkering is that it can start small and almost by accident. You could be tinkering away at solving a problem and could quite easily join forces with others you meet by chance online. Who knows where it goes from there ;-)

John Wilbanks on yesterday's NESTA event. Gotta say, I left I was BUZZING. John's talk was real shot in the arm, he describes collaborative markets in biotech where heterogeneous networks are built to buy and sell assets not available from any one supplier. Exciting stuff:-)

Open innovation is a phrase in danger of being misused. It's a catch-all sometimes for "we don't know why our systems aren't working and what we need to do" - you can just say "we need open innovation" and hide behind it. But this meeting gave me hope that the systematic efforts needed to enable Chesbrough's vision of open innovation may be possible.

If we're going to achieve that particular vision of innovation, it's important to remember its tenets. Knowledge must move - "purposively" - in and out of organizations. There must be investment in the external capacity of the market itself to generate useful knowledge. And we need business models that are capable of surviving in an open environment.

The old theory of doing business as a hermetically sealed entity was never really true. Knowledge leaked, at conferences and in bars, in phone calls and in passing. And the pharma industry essentially practices a form of open innovation already, through its constant forming and reforming of alliances and mergers and restructuring. But it's not practicing open innovation at scale, with efficiency, or with purpose.

Energy, in the right direction

These words from David Bausola really resonate as I navigate my way around Vodafone internet services...

There is very little value in using digital as a promotional tool compared to using the aesthetics of networks, manufacturing and communications for devising new markets. I'm particularly interested in temporary markets as the frailness of this form of economics creates a stronger network of merchants, which in turn pushes invention, rather than innovation. This is what sustainability demands - frailness.

Even more so as I am currently investigating temporary markets :-)

Interesting piece by Tim Brown on the migration from an economy of consumers to an economy of creators. He mentions a few of the likely casualties that are likely along the way, one of them being the record industry.

This is interesting stuff and is close to research I've being doing for a while now. He concludes with a nicely put statement on the nature of value definition:

We get more of what we measure. If we measure consumption we will get more of it. If we measure participation we will get more of that and we might just find we are already far wealthier than we realize, or perhaps far poorer. More importantly if our economy measured different types of value we could focus on designing things that created growth without automatically requiring that we consume more stuff.

I had this to add on the RIAA and fellow conspirators...


If we could value the increase in the amount of music being listened to, or the social connections that sharing music creates, or the increase in the number of music creators, or the meaning that an individual gets from creating their own music would we find that instead of the destruction of value we had instead experienced a significant creation of value?

You've highlighted something I struggle to explain in my everyday consulting. The destruction of an industry doesn't equate to the destruction of the value creation that industry one enabled

People have been using music to build tighter bonds, promote happiness and produce babies for millennia. For a few years in the Nineteenth century Ricordi managed to turn Opera publishing into a business and for a respectable chunk of the Twentieth century the record industry managed to leverage talent growth and distribution into a viable industry.

But just as the once great Ricordi family business was subsumed into other content-based businesses, just as the extensive Victorian industrial ecosystem surrounding the design, production and maintenance of steam engines shrunk to a niche business in the far reaches of Hunan province the record industry of 1980 must die. Well, it needs to shrink and adapt, but it's late Twentieth century form is obsolete.

It will die and be replaced by a different value creation ecosystem focused on making more babies, sharing more music and being happier while supporting the artists who choose to make music their primary income stream.

Exactly what the ecosystem will look like I don't know but I do know this. It's nothing to be afraid of :-)

More good stuff from Priya

Another great deck from Priya. I particularly love the simple needs matrix on slide 6, "Search topologies" which leads into the presentation of the three key experiences.

I'm looking for ways to map value to experience and when the needs matrix is simple enough, a nice one-to-one relationship between need and UI benefit works well. That said, when your needs matrix goes bonkers (how big was your last corporate intranet needs matrix) it gets harder to map one-to-one...

The search for scalability continues apace :-)

Your api. Our infrastructure.

Mashery LogoWhat a beautifully succinct way of expressing quite a complex system :-)

Wow, and an interesting business model too... Or interesting way of expressing the business model. I can imagine how this could be the beginning of a fair split of value in a post-IP world (as long as everybody knows what everybody else is in it for that could work...)

It's also a nice, scalable way to express the fruitful partnership between state-run monopoly and tiny creative shop (imagine if Orange and Shozu had decided to divvy things up like this, some beautiful experiences might have come out of it)

From the mashery site:

An API can unlock new distribution channels for your content and services. But creating an API is only the first step. Achieving long-term success requires management tools, security controls, built-in scalability, and community support.

Cooperative Brother

Overheard on the train this morning:

...but if people really don't like Big Brother, then they will probably be a market that Cooperative brother, one of BB's ethical competitors, will welcome...

Sweet ;-)

BT orb logo graphicI seem to have inherited, largely by accident, a largeish contribution pool of disgruntled BT customers. Many of them comment with the phone strapped to their right ear, commenting on how many hours they spent on the phone to Mumbai or how many days they had been waiting for the callback that never came...

Anyhoo, got a couple of comments recently from Hannah, a television production company researcher who must have searched for blog posts by angry ex BT employees. We've got a couple of them here, so I guess they must have showed up in google (try this search as an example)

One such employee is Shelley who writes:

I work for BT and even i am disgusted by them. They have the monopoly and basically don't give a f*ck about their customers. I get customers screaming at me and crying down the phone with problem after problem day after day, but BT don't give us, the call agents, the resources or authorisation to help them.

Well, I am sooooo curious about the film. I think all of those suffering consumers could do with getting some answers and nothing like a little naming and shaming along with a healthy dose of transparency to get a dinosaur moving.

I've asked Hannah for some info so will post if I get a reply...

I recently had a QA on Linkedin with a guy who asked:

Community-based websites: the effectiveness of engagement and Interaction? There is still a real opportunity for them to be a leader using a community-based solution. How long will these community-based solutions continue to be effective?

Since about 2005 I've been getting a steadily increasing demand for sites that build, support or promote community. I was surprised by the above question as it was beginning to feel like pretty much every brand out their had gotten on the bus with varying degrees of commitment and success.

So I thought I'd drop my answer in here for safekeeping:

If you rephrase your question slightly:

"What can my client do with interactive technologies to increase value co-creation and engagement?"

If the creation of social capital and the building of a value co-creation network become core business objectives then the worth of community-based efforts becomes self-evident.

A community can rally around an issue (changing legislation, agreeing safety standards for toys) or a task (designing the Lego Mindstorm, pushing GM towards sustainability) and collectively generate solutions. The alternative is a network of business development types driving around the country in cars. I gotta say, I like the website option better.

Please take note of Stephen's point about commitment. A thriving community does require investment in capital, in time, in risk management. Make sure you factor these issues into your planing.

> B to B is typically not a great area for community

I just wanted to add a comment about Tom's point above.

I have recently implemented "group pages" that allow insurance advisers to ask each other questions in a private, branded area. The service is hosted by the underwriting insurance company.

Here's what the value-map looks like:

1 - Each advisor builds her knowledge and feels more competent as a result of participating (similar to what we are doing here)

2 - The system reduces the number of calls to the underwriters which means they get more done in a day (their days become more valuable)

Created social capital:

The partner advisers deepen their engagement with the underwriting company. The experience of dealing with this company as opposed to one that doesn't provide this service is such that over time the business relationship is stronger (ie sales increase)

It's always worth trying to quantify this value when deciding what to build.

Experience value-mapping

I'm developing a methodology to map the co-creation of value by customers onto the traditional human-centred design assets we already use. I'm not sure where that's going to end up. Should I start another agency? (still a little sobered after the Pumpernickle experience) or do i just use this as a consultant, bringing the techniques to my day-to-day work?

In the meantime, feel free to ring me on 07515 661655 if you're a product owner and are trying to understand how value co-creation can impact your business requirement choices.

Hello BT engineer

Hey, we've just had a long and very informative post from Matt, a Luton-based Openreach engineer. I hope this really is an engineer speaking and not some perverse item from a 'guerilla marketing' agency subverting from within. He describes some real horror stories, if you're interested in the BT thing it's well worth a read:

I was on a fault last week and the customer drop-wire from the pole to the house was rubbing through trees so I replaced it only to get a phone call the next day from my manager asking why I hadn't charged the customer as the trees were on his property--this is the level that they are stooping to.

Do they care? This thing has been simmering for a while now, I wonder at what point a BT pr person is going to chime in?

Is BT still shit? (A Donkey on the Edge)

Subverting from within

So I used to think I was subverting from within. That's bollocks, of course. David always reminds me of that. I've decided I'm not going to work in advertising again, the daily round of social network metrics and the constant quest to shove us through some absurd value funnel (ad agencies are still in the process of discovering the creation of unique value, not exactly at the cutting edge of stuff really...) just goes against my belief in a collaborative internet.

A new-year's prediction from Zero Influence really cheered me up. Dave reckons that this year will "reward participation that does not seek measurement nor reward�

You go girl!

Re earlier post on decommodification

I wrote a little brain-dump on decommodification this morning and have just now come across tom at interesting (different tom) a video from Russell Davies Interesting 2007 conference.

Tom talks about pipes (or tubes) and starts off his presentation with the example of the tobacco infrastructure, the incredible world of resources and infrastructure required for you to smoke a cigarette...

Which kinda ties-in with the aforementioned telecoms operator's pipes and their relationship to value co-creation...

No conclusions as of yet, but the video is nice, so go watch it:-)

What's that Dug? A new-year's prediction in September? Shurly shome mistake... Well, this one just popped into my brain so I thought I'd put it down on paper. I think 2008 will be the year of decommodification. The word exists already and has a few definitions. I'd like to propose a new one.

Decommodification The process by which value is re-infused into what those in the know in the telecoms industry call "pipes" as in "Vodafone is just a leaser of pipes".

The executives you'll hear using this phrase will be using it in the context of trying to find ways for the business to add value. If pipes are 'just' a commodity and the money is in what travels through those pipes then the telecoms operation needs to invest in building tools and services it can sell (like webmail applications or photo-sharing apps).

I think 2008 will see telco operators realise that the kids are creating the apps they need themselves, but what Ben Trott, Chris Messina, Katerina Fake, Rasmus Lerdorf or even today's darling Mark Zuckerberg can't do is provide ubiquitous, pervasive, reliable, cheap and universal connectivity to planet earth.

I know it's a lot less glamourous than making groovy stuff but there is one seriously big place in heaven for the operator who becomes the world's Good Connectivity Partner.

Well, that's what I was thinking anyway...

Skype wants to be nice to me

You know, I was gonna comment on the Skype blog Heartbeat (no, not on the bit where if they had decided to use computers equipped with a proper operating system their crash and subsequent total meltdown wouldn't have happened in the first place) (and no, not on the bit where for the same reason they can't manage a reliable single-customer view grrrr) no, I was going to comment on the email I received earlier today:

As a goodwill gesture to all you faithful Skype Pro, Skype Unlimited, SkypeIn or Skype Voicemail customers, we're adding an additional seven days to your current subscription, free of charge. And even if you didn't miss out on using Skype last week - you can still have a week free on Skype, on the house!

So my first reaction is that

  1. customers that aren't those listed above can just fuck off
  2. a customer worth building a relationship with is one that commits to a financial transaction with your brand. Gosh, how 80/20 nineteen-eighty-seven of you...

But then I thought to myself, you just nicked the nine quid I had in my account three weeks ago. True, you did explain that you had to, and you did make it theoretically easy for me to protect my dosh while giving me ample and repeated fair warning.

But you know what, if you clean out the balance in your customer's accounts that's all they're gonna see.

Come on, this is sooooo not a modern approach to marketing. Your empty gesture has left me with exactly the same balance I had just before your meltdown--zero.

Niklas Zennström, you're a smart guy, my guess is you can do a lot better (and you can start by giving me my money back)

A Parisian value co-creation network?


I was working with a colleague this morning and she pointed at the table next door. "Look at what those guys did with the bread, it's a great metaphor for personalisation" and well, she's right of course.

I kept thinking about the photograph today and actually, you can interpret the image in terms of value co-creation (ok, a bit of a stretch but cut me some slack, it's just a bread basket).

For starters, the table is the value co-creation network. The network interacts with its environment (the sun on the térasse, the neibouring tables and chairs) and the customer interacts with it to create value.

The two guys have adjusted the table itself, the chairs and when the food comes (from another participant in the value-creation network, the chef) they decide on the way they will eat it. By customising the table to support the two glasses of beer and the breadbasket they have added value to their lunch beyond the 13.5 euro price-tag (and of course, that's without counting the value in their meeting in the first place which is probably the most value-intensive part of the network).