Mind the Product 2014 – liveblog

BY Charlotta Buxton ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

Welcome to Mind the Product 2014. We’ll be live-blogging from the conference throughout the day.

Welcome

And we’re live! First up an intro by ProductTank founder and Mind the Product co-founder Martin Eriksson.

We started five years ago and were happy if we got thirty people in a room to talk about products. Look at us now. We have over 900 people in the room! Let’s get started. Enjoy the day!

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Kathy Sierra

Building badass users
@seriouspony

Everyone in here wants to have sustained success for their products. We want someone saying “this app is amazing” and their friends saying “I need to get that.”

How do we make that happen?

People trust strangers on the internet more than they trust brand messages and this keeps getting more and more dramatic. So the big question is how do we make conversations like that happen.

It’s not enough to make the perfect product. We wont get people talking about it unless they’re using it.

Let’s take a lesson from film makers. If you can’t get the perfect shot in Hollywood you say “let’s fix it in post”. If you can’t make the perfect thing you fix it somewhere else. We’ll fix it in the manual – said by people who have never met a customer.

We’ll fix it in marketing – many of us have heard this. You can fix anything with Facebook or Twitter.

But this doesn’t work.

So what do we do if we can’t make the perfect product or fix it in marketing? Let’s instead fix the user.

The user isn’t saying the app is amazing and they love it because the app is amazing – they’re saying it because they’re amazing. They think they are amazing because of something they can do or be by using the product.

The key attributes of a successful product don’t live in the product. Instead we have to look at successful users.

What are users able to do and be because of the product?

Look at the user journey. We have promised the user something – they are motivated in some way otherwise they wouldn’t be using the product. They want that compelling context (e.g. being a good photographer). Motivation isn’t the problem, derailment is.

The common response to this is to add more motivation – marketing tricks and incentives. But we’re not really solving the problem. The problem lies in the derailers. More motivation isn’t the solution. We need to ask ourselves what stops our users.

There is one underlying cause for derailment and so there is one underlying fix – The user’s journey takes ability and willpower.

How can we fix that for our users?

Cognitive processing and willpower are coming from the same pool of resources. What this means is that we need to reduce cognitive leaks, which drain willpower.

Many ways to reduce cognitive leaks

1. Delegate usability to something in the world. Knowledge in the world (obvious, labels etc) vs knowledge in the head.

Look at cooker tops with dials for the heat. Place the dials in the same order as the hobs = knowledge in the world.

2. Reduce cognitive leaks with defaults and trusted filters.

Choices are cognitively expensive.

We think we’re giving people an awesome amount of power with choice, but instead we’re sucking away their cognitive power. When we have to make a choice we agonise if we made the right choice.

3. Habits take less willpower. Help users automate behaviours and skills.

4. Reduce cognitive leaks by making it easier for people to focus.

The brain has a spam filter, but it doesn’t let you tune it. It’s also a legacy brain – it doesn’t really want to involve you in its choices.

You might think “this is SO important”, but your brain might be saying “trust me you don’t need this.”

What do brains care about? Scary things, cats (for some reasons), faces with strong emotion, innocence, things that change (if you have a website with flashy things and movement you drain users cognitive resources, this is also why you should never have the TV on in the background).

5. The big one – let the brain to let go

If you have to take an early flight your brain will go “omg! I might oversleep” and then “I better stay up all night to be safe.”

Tiny leaks like “Did I put my phone on silent?” before going to the cinema – they drain cognitive power.

Give clear and clean feedback so your product doesn’t do that to your users. Give the brain reason to feel completely confident.

You want the brain to go “whew – it’s handled”

6. The BIGGEST leak

The message to our users is often that this doesn’t exist or that it’s the users fault if they struggle with understanding the product.

We say that using our product is easy. We pretend that this isn’t happening and act like the users are finding it very easy to use our product. We act like the problem is theirs.

Some things are just hard – sometimes those are the things that are more meaningful to people.

Give your users faith that you know what it’s really like. Say – this is typical and temporary.

You can even add a WTF-button.

Final words

Everything in the user’s life is competing for their cognitive resources. The internet is one of the biggest cognitive resources drainers there are. The problem is that we create personas for our users (busy parent, stressed out professional etc), but create the UX and support for the “perfect customer”.

Don’t treat users like stock photography people!

Kathy Sierra has been advocating for the user in everything from software to books since her days as a game developer. She designed and taught New Media/Interaction Design courses at UCLA and Java programming at Sun Microsystems. She created one of the largest (and friendliest) developer communities, javaranch.com, the bestselling Head First tech book series for O’Reilly, and authored the Technorati Top 100 blog, Creating Passionate Users.

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Dave Wascha

Inside the mind of the product manager
@davewascha

When I was at university I was trying to decide between studying philosophy and computer science. In the end of the day I decided to study both of them. I started to take classes that applied to both of them and I studied the human brain.

The brain is an extremely lazy organism. It’s a very expensive organism evolutionary speaking. We have the largest brains of anything in the world. But the brain doesn’t like to consider new information. It does its best to slot new information into an existing pattern.

We are pattern seeking creatures. I saw this on a daily basis after my son was born. His first word was quack and at first anything that had two legs or flew was a duck. Then we introduced him to our dog – “woof” and anything that has four legs is now a “woof”.

The interesting thing was when we introduced him to a snake. He sat there for a moment, then he started to giggle because novelty was happening in his brain, which couldn’t categorise it.

As product managers we have to be able to look at the world through new eyes. Entire religions have been created to help us do this – like zen buddhism.

The product management anti-pattern (recognisable patterns that will produce a sub-optimal outcome)

The tyranny of inertia
“That’s the way we’ve always done it…”
This is one of the most destructive forces in the universe. A soul and value destroying force. It’s also very difficult to combat on a daily basis.

Propinquity
You tend to like and get along with people who are like you. That’s great when you are a lot like your customers. But if you’re not like your customers it becomes very difficult to sell to them, especially if you assume that they are just like you and that you can make decisions for them.

So… if you bought baby food 90 years ago it would look almost exactly like it does today. Five years ago I saw new packaging – finally someone is paying attention to what is going on when you feed a child. I phoned them up and asked them – what inspired you to create this packaging. The answer? “Have you ever tried to feed a kid?”

This negative pattern is why companies often fail when they try to expand into new (and foreign markets).

Never assume that your customers are just like you.

Groupthink

When you put a lot of us in a room we’re terrible at making decisions.

40 million Americans tuned in to watch the Space Shuttle Challenger flight. It was unseasonably cold in Florida that day. Engineers were concerned, hundreds of people were concerned, but there is a concept called “go fever”. There was so much pressure to launch and no one said “don’t do it.”

Self-censorship
Also known as being “the journalist”. Do not be a journalist. Do not be a bystander in the decision making process. Don’t simply record what is happening. You have to participate.

This is on you.

Dave is the Chief Product Officer at MOO.COM, the award winning online design and print business and one of London’s fastest growing private companies. Prior to joining MOO Dave spent 14 years at Microsoft in Seattle and in London product managing a wide variety of products including web browsers, developer tools, enterprise application integration (EAI) software, operating systems, online shopping and travel and web search.

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Nir Eyal

Building habit-forming products
@nireyal

If there is one thing that we all know about the gadgets and products that we use every day it’s that they can have a profound impact on our day.

There are a couple of companies that fit this description. Some of these products start out as toys, but they end up touching 100s of millions of people’s lives and end up making 100s of millions of dollars.

These are companies like: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram

They change people’s day-to-day behaviour so profoundly, yet so quickly.

What do they all have in common? Why do they become so habit-forming?

Habit = a behaviour done with little or no conscious thought.
Habits account for about 40 percent of what we do day in and day out in our lives.

We are on the precipice of an age where we can use habits for good.

The hook

What we find in these habit forming products are hooks, connecting the user’s problem to their solution with enough frequency to form a habit.

It looks something like this: Trigger – Action – Reward – Investment.

Triggers

  • Triggers come in two flavours: external (billboards, tweets, buy now-buttons, play-buttons etc) and internal (people, places, emotions, routines, situations).
  • Negative emotions are powerful internal triggers. People who are depressed check their email more often.
  • When we feel lonely we use Facebook. When we feel unsure we use Google. When we feel bored we use Youtube.
  • How we form the patterns of what gives us relief, creates a habit.
  • Do you know your customer’s internal triggers?

Action
The simplest behaviour done in the anticipation of a reward.

Simple action:

  • Scrolling on Pinterest
  • Pushing a play-button on Youtube

There is a way to predict why human behaviour occurs. For behaviour we need motivation, ability and a trigger.

There are six factors that increase motivation – seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, seeking hope avoiding fear, seeking acceptance, avoiding rejection.

Ability is the capacity to make an action. Six factors determine this – time, money, physical effort, brain cycles, social deviance, non-routine (practice).

Rewards
When it comes to rewards we have to start in the brain, in the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens is activated when we crave something (love, junk food and technology).

But it’s not just about stimulating pleasure. The nucleus accumbens becomes active with the anticipation of a reward. When we get the reward it becomes less active. It stimulates an itch and a craving.

There is a way to supercharge this stress of desire.

The unknown is fascinating!
Variability causes us to focus and engage. And it increases behaviour.

There are three variable rewards

  • Rewards of the tribe – social rewards, things that feel good and come from other people. The online version is social media. We like social rewards.
  • Rewards of the hunt – the search for resources, in our society we buy resources for money. A slot machine is an example of this, but the same phenomenon occurs with information. On twitter you hunt for information (rewards), by scrolling – it’s just like a slot machine.
  • Rewards of the self – the search for self achievement. Intrinsic motivators, the search for mastery, control and competency. Getting to the next level in a game is an example of this, so is checking unread messages in your inbox or ticking things off on your to-do-list.

You need to scratch the users itch, but leave them wanting more.

Investment
This is the hook which is the most neglected. It’s all about a future benefit. It’s a bit of effort put into the product in the anticipation of a future reward.

  • When you send a message through WhatsApp you expect a reply = future benefit which draws users back.
  • Habit forming products should improve as we use them. The more music I store in iTunes, the more important to me it becomes.
  • The more followers I have on Twitter, the more valuable the product becomes.
  • The better my reputation is on Ebay and AirBnB the more committed I am to the product.

Final words

Remember habit forming products is a form of manipulation. They’re becoming the cigarettes of this century. So what is our responsibility?

Find one of the world’s problems and fix them by using habit design.

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. He is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. Nir’s last company received venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and was acquired in 2011. Nir is also an advisor to several Bay Area start-ups , venture capitalists, and incubators and in addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir is a contributing writer for Forbes, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

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Des Traynor

Product strategy in a growing company
@destraynor

It’s the hell of a time to be a product manager!

So many real world things are being replaced by software. Today software is eating the world and product managers pick what’s on the menu.

But where do products come from?

If you ask yourself why a product was created, look at the creator.

You have product focused people, customer focused people, auteurs, people who scratch their own (or someone else’s) itch and people who follow patterns.

Many people are identifying trends and repeating them. There is now Tinder for professionals, for dogs, for dresses and so on.

Some people might say – Uber is making a lot of money, I want to build Uber. Some might look at the model of Uber and try to use the same model for another niche. Could you create an Uber for tuxedos? – It’s already been done!

Managing product scope

It’s easy to explain a scalpel. A swiss army knife is a different proposition.

To make a simple product you have to decide where it starts and stops.

Start where you can add value (faster, cheaper, easier etc). Then plan how to transition from the step that came before.

Where to stop? If the next step is done through a market leader you don’t want to compete with, step away.

Managing feature creep

To make a product simple you have to say no to anything that isn’t your core. There are in fact only a few situations when you should say yes.

  • Does it fit your vision?
  • Is it reward greater than the effort?
  • Does it benefit all customers?
  • Will it grow the business?
  • Will it matter in five years?
  • Is it a forward step?
  • Will it generate new engagement?

There are long and short term implications for every product decision you make. Don’t swap the long term “ow” for a short term “wow”.

Don’t be afraid to kill features that make your product more complicated to use. Big companies kill features all the time.

Shipping is not the goal, usage means everything.

Ask yourself this:

  • Are you improving the feature
  • Are you getting more people to use it
  • Are you getting people to use it more
  • Does the new feature support a new workflow

Focus the product on the job it will do for people, don’t categorise yourself.

When you identify a product category you’re outsourcing your product to the past.

Focusing on a category is user-hostile. You’re really just focusing on your neighbours.

Don’t focus too much on your perfect customer. Don’t confuse correlation with causation. Causation is what you should research. Designs match the problem, not people.

Ask specific questions to get a specific solution. Ask what the job is, how are customers using the product, what do they want?

Customers only care about the value.

Once you release your feature you have to focus on the behaviour you actually get.

The old magic is now basic expectations (like “easy to use”).

The new magic:

  • Uber-fication = the slimming down of an entire app into a push button. You live your life one tap at a time.
  • Automated inputs = sign in with facebook etc. You authorize a source of data and then you’re done.
  • Ambient insight = living next to a library doesn’t make you smart. Today reports and insights come to you.

Des Traynor is the co-founder and VP of Customer Success at Intercom. Founded in 2011, Intercom is a simple, personal messaging service for businesses and their customers. It is a single, integrated platform for marketing, product, support and sales communication. At Intercom, Des works with customers on a daily basis and through these interactions he gains valuable insights that help influence Intercom’s product roadmap and product strategy. Prior to Intercom, Des was a co-founder of Exceptional, which was acquired and is now part of Rackspace. Des writes Intercom’s blog and is a regular conference speaker on topics such as product strategy, UX design, customer experience, and the business of start-ups.

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Irene Au

Design is as important as technology
@ireneau

Design is as important as technology. But why?

Let’s look at the history of automobile design. When the first car came out the challenges weren’t about design, they were about how to make the car work. Consumers didn’t have much choice when it came to the design. But with competition design became a differentiator for the car market.

Design is brand

Some cars are easily recognisable even when the logo is removed. The car brands that are less recognisable suffer because they lack this consistency.

When we think of brands we think of logos and identities, but these are just symbols. The brand is the consumer’s conception of that company. When the consumer is interacting with the company in any capacity, we are in the process of creating a brand.

The fastest way to build a brand is through consistent design.

Design is simplicity (which is very difficult to achieve)

It took 15 years for Google to achieve the level of simplicity we see today. And it’s not because of lack of will or talent.

Design is timeless, it’s iconic, it’s not easily trown away.

Design is all about the details

Design is the difference between delighting your customers or not. It’s empathy made tangible.

Creating a great experience takes great empathy for other people.

Design is intent

A 1 second delay resulted in 7 percent fewer conversion, 11 percent fewer page views and 16 percent less customer satisfaction.

Google took this to heart – the company now shows you how long it takes to find your search results.

Design is not only how it looks but also how it works and how it all fits together. But it all cascades from the company’s values and strategy.

Yahoo vs Google

Yahoo created lots of different looking pages (brands) for each of their products. Google created a consistent look and feel. The design hints at the state of a company. You can’t fix your design without fixing the issues within a company or a team.

Both companies started with the same intention, but had very different outcomes. Yahoo ended up as a house of brands, vertical focused and sales driven. Google has always been a branded house (one Google, many products), focusing on platform and product development.

Irene Au is an operating partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with portfolio companies to make their design great. Irene previously ran Product Design at Udacity after leading User Experience at Google for six years, where her team was responsible for design and research for all of Google’s products worldwide. Before that, Irene established and led the User Experience and Design team at Yahoo! for eight years, and began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications. Irene also teaches yoga and meditation at Avalon Art and Yoga Center, one of Palo Alto’s oldest and most established yoga studios. She co-chairs the Board of Trustees at Bowman International School, a K-8 private Montessori school in Palo Alto. Irene holds a bachelor’s of science in electrical and computer engineering from the University of South Carolina Honors College where she graduated summa cum laude and a master’s of science degree in industrial engineer and human-computer interaction from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Fred Destin

You need to embrace chaos as technology
@fdestin

We live in a world of chaos. We’ve seen terror, we’ve seen a financial crisis, the whole system went out of control, the whole thing was collapsing around us. It was kind of scary for everybody.

From a technology point of view this acceleration is so dramatic. The overriding economic theory says that it’s all about disruption. Change the world and make money while doing it.

Amazon is doing this. They have pushed us into a world of speed. They use chaotic math to organise their warehouses. Today we can build and scale companies very quickly.

We’re not in a linear environment anymore. We’re in hyperspeed. But as human beings we like straight lines. That’s why people can’t get their heads around why Apple is worth billions.

But companies grow chaotically. We have to posit our own ignorance. It’s so hard to define what makes companies successful today.

Companies grow like fractals.

We’re not designed to think about fractals. We’re designed to respond to fight or flight. We live in an animated state of tension. We’re killing ourselves slowly because of stress.

We love living in this exciting, fast-paced world, but it is also killing us.

So what can we do? Accept chaos, let it wash over us.

Should we rely on luck? Maybe.

Dr Richard Wiseman: Chance vs. luck

People who consider themselves lucky accept what is coming, people who consider themselves unlucky try to control the outcome.

What will screw up your life is fear.

Wait for the lucky moments to come. Grasp them when they come.

When people achieve flow, they perform without any tension. It’s something that applies to all of us.

Flow

  • Clear, ambitious but attainable goals
  • personal control
  • direct and immediate feedback
  • an activity that is inherently rewarding
  • = a loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.

Dan Pink – does it work to incentivise people with money? Unless it’s a repetitive, mechanical task – no. What people really care about is autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Money makes people unhappy. Why? Because you always compare your situation to someone else’s situation.

If you look at people in my world, some people have four properties and it’s a nightmare because the roof is leaking in Portugal, they have no contact with their families. They are unhappy. What you should care about is if you have mastery, purpose and if you can get shit done.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

  • I am me
  • I am esteemed
  • I belong
  • I am safe
  • I am comfortable

When you understand who you are and stop caring what others think of you, then you might achieve happiness. Then you’re content in a world you can’t control.

You’re living in systems you didn’t design. Nobody said how you should live. Write your own fucking rules about how you should live your life. Write your own story.

Purpose can bring you through hard times.

We live in an environment where everything is designed to kill us. We’re not built to deal with this. But that’s also the beauty of the world we live in. We can create things at the speed of light. But we have to learn to embrace chaos. We’re standing in a stream, change coming towards us. Embrace luck and the improbable, don’t try to control your environment too much. This is even more important if you have children – give them the skills they need to live in chaos. No skills will carry you through your entire life, companies die, there are no jobs for life. Embrace the chaos.

Fred Destin is a partner at Atlas Venture, moving to London to join Accel London in September. He is a 12-year veteran venture capitalist and has worked closely with, among many others, Zoopla, Seatwave, DailyMotion and PriceMinister since their early days. He brings a uniquely international perspective to his work, hailing from Brussels and having spent most of his career in London and Boston.

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Leisa Reichelt

Tinkering with the DNA: changing organisations to improve products
@leisa

We’re in the business of revolution, not evolution.

If you know our work at all, you probably know it by our work at gov.uk. The idea was to create something simple and easy to use. Every government page now looks and works the same way. Now there’s also a single page for each policy and you can subscribe to the pages to keep up to date with each policy.

Our aim is to make services that are so good that people choose to use them by changing the product-making DNA of the organisation.

1. Show don’t tell

We value showing what we’ve done, instead of talking about it.

Show the thing – don’t talk about it. You argue less.

2. Ask for less

Just get people to do stuff. That is the largest problem for any organisation – people aren’t doing enough stuff. Come up with strategies that will get people to do stuff. Eventually you might be the person who gets multinational corporations to do stuff. It doesn’t matter what they do, just get them to do something.

Human nature prefers to delay big, brave decisions rather than to make them. Most of us are pretty bad at making big, brave decisions.

Ask for things that are harder to say no to. Simpler, smaller things. Try to dream in increments.

First – ask for an alpha, something small that will minimise fear. Ask for that and get that going. Once you get something going you create evidence. If you get something that looks vaguely successful more people will become interested. Then someone senior might say to you “why don’t you do this big thing” – which is what you wanted to do in the first place. Let them think it’s their idea.

Ask for small (but important) behaviour changes.

Death to “it depends”. Do the simple thing. Give people small and simple things to do. Even if it isn’t perfect, it’s a good thing to do – they’ll get smarter. Get people started on the right track.

Get your exposure hours – 2hrs every six weeks. Expose yourself to the product you’re working on.

3. Change the language of the organisation

Be thoughtful of how you use words.

Language is the medium through which culture is enacted – Gill Ereaut.

Requirements vs. user needs.

You can’t make bad policy go away by making the design nicer. User experience is the responsibility of the entire team.

It’s user research, not user testing – you don’t test users.

If we don’t have respect and empathy for the end user they will pick up the phone. The words you use tell you what you care about.

4. Make your job mostly about communications

If no one knows what you are planning and doing, it’s like it is no happening.

Think about a part of your organisation that is a bit broken. What if the only thing you did was to improve the internal communications in that department, how much of the problem would go away?

Make a plan to communicate better with each other.

Leisa is the Head of User Research at the UK Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office, HM Government. She leads a team of researchers who work in agile, multidisciplinary digital teams to help continuously connect the people who design products with the people who will use them. Before joining the public sector she was a freelance consultant and worked with clients including Virgin Atlantic, BBC, SonyBMG, HSBC, The Economist, Drupal and the University of Surrey. Leisa tweets at @leisa and occasionally blogs at disambiguity.com.

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Alex Osterwalder

Designing your value proposition
@alexosterwalder

Conceptual tools and software tools can help us, even with strategic issues.

But why do we need business tools anyway?

What if you went in for heart surgery and the surgeon comes out with only a swiss army knife?

Traditionally you have an idea, write a business plan and then create your 1 billion dollar business. But that’s not really how it works in reality. Reality isn’t linear.

You need a shared language when creating new products or building a business.

Words often degenerate into verbal diarrhoea in meetings. Get out of the land of blah, blah, blah and make thins tangible. Those are the sort of tools we need. Any problem can be made clearer with a picture (not stock photos).

It’s like surgery, you need lots of tools to build a good business.

Who your customer is and what you’re offering them? How can I describe how my product is creating value?

Put yourself into your customer’s shoes. We can understand him or her by describing three things.

  • What are the jobs our customers are trying to get done?
  • What are their pains (obstacles and risks)?
  • What are their gains (expectations)?

If you map these out you can then base your user research on it.

Then ask yourself – how are you offering value to this customer?

Describe how your products and services connect with their jobs, gains and pains. What are your pain relievers and gain creators?

Alex is one of the world’s leading thinkers on business model innovation and modeling. He is the inventor of the Business Model Canvas, a tool to visualise, challenge and reinvent business models, as well as the lead author of Business Model Generation, a global bestseller with over a million copies sold in 30 languages. He’s the co-founder of strategyzer.com and working on his next book – Value Proposition Design, due out this fall. Alex holds a PhD from HEC Lausanne, and is a frequent guest lecturer at Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, and IESE.

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Genevieve Bell

Being human in a digital world: lessons from the intersections of technology and culture
@feraldata

Why does Intel have an anthropologist?

Bell spent her childhood in her mother’s field site in northern Australia. “Not wearing shoes, not going to school and killing things”. She had no plans on going into industry – but believes that you are morally obligated to make a better world if you can see it.

At first she couldn’t see why Intel wanted her to join them. But they kept calling her up monthly (in 1998) and she realised that she had the opportunity to be part of the biggest digital change in the world today. She took a risk, left her professorship at Stanford and started working at Intel.

This was her brief:
We need your help with women (all of them) – explain to us what they want.
We also have a problem with ROW (the rest of world, not America).

So how do you look at all of that and allow it to drive technological innovation and change?

Another part of her job was to tell stories of the future. These are always loaded and politically complicated, they tell us more about the now than the future.

The stories we tell about the future suggest that things will be different, but things don’t move that quickly. So how quickly do things really change? And what does change really look like?

Take TV, the technology has changed, the delivery has changed, the business model has changed – but as human beings what we want is to watch a good story.

We get seduced by changes in technology and think that we as human beings are also changing. But what makes us human actually changes very slowly.

5 things that really don’t change much

  • We need friends and family
  • We want to belong to a community
  • We want to have meaning in our lives
  • We use objects to talk about who we are – to ourselves or to everyone else
  • We need to keep secrets and tell lies (the average human tells six to 200 lies per day)

5 things that have been in flux since the industrial revolution

  • We worry about reputation
  • We need to be bored, we want to be surprised (we reset our brains when we are bored, that’s when deep creativity appears – we also like the same thing until we’re bored and then we want something completely different)
  • We want to be different (why jokes about the French work in England)
  • We want to feel time (but technology doesn’t know time and is constantly connected)
  • We want to be remembered, but we also want to be forgotten

Dr. Genevieve Bell is an anthropologist and researcher with 15 years of experience driving innovation in the high tech industry. As the Director of Interaction and Experience Research in Intel Labs, Bell leads a team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists. She is also an accomplished industry commentator on the intersection of culture and technology and has been extensively featured in publications that include Wired, Forbes, The Atlantic, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal.

About

Charlotta Buxton

Charlotta Buxton is a freelance journalist and writer. She covers technology, culture and politics for UK and Nordic media. She tweets as @fjoms and blogs about London life at londonlotta.com.