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jerryking : product_design   6

How non-engineer Stewart Butterfield reached top of Silicon Valley
JUNE 21, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters in San Francisco.

Silicon Valley loves its engineer-founders. They are members of the region’s highest caste, the entrepreneurs trusted to turn bits and bytes into the next hit digital products, and the people venture capitalists most like to back.

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of the workplace chat app Slack, is not one of them. He stands out as a philosophy major in a start-up world full of software engineers, a non-techie who has made it to the top of the tech heap......Slack’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange this week has cemented his reputation as one of the Valley’s most creative product designers — and values his own stake in the company at $1.6bn.

“He is your quintessential, product-oriented founder-leader,” ......In a nod to an unconventional streak in Mr Butterfield’s personality that separates him from the herd, Mr Levie adds: “He has just the right level of quirkiness.”.....Butterfield got a philosophy degree at the University of Victoria, followed by a master of philosophy at Cambridge, before being bitten by the internet bug at the end of the 1990s and moving to Silicon Valley........Pressed on how he can withstand the Microsoft onslaught, Mr Butterfield defaults to the quiet, analytical self-assurance. “There has been a long history of the small, focused start-up taking on the large incumbent with multiple lines of business and being successful” — starting, he added, with a small and scrappy Microsoft itself taking on the giant IBM.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  CEOs  chat  craftsmanship  engineering  Flickr  founders  Gulliver_strategies  IBM  Microsoft  mobile_applications  product_design  product-orientated  quirky  Richard_Waters  Silicon_Valley  Slack  start_ups  Stewart_Butterfield  workplaces 
june 2019 by jerryking
Looking Beyond the Internet of Things
JAN. 1, 2016 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Adam Bosworth is building what some call a “data singularity.” In the Internet of Things, billions of devices and sensors would wirelessly connect to far-off data centers, where millions of computer servers manage and learn from all that information.

Those servers would then send back commands to help whatever the sensors are connected to operate more effectively: A home automatically turns up the heat ahead of cold weather moving in, or streetlights behave differently when traffic gets bad. Or imagine an insurance company instantly resolving who has to pay for what an instant after a fender-bender because it has been automatically fed information about the accident.

Think of it as one, enormous process in which machines gather information, learn and change based on what they learn. All in seconds.... building an automated system that can react to all that data like a thoughtful person is fiendishly hard — and that may be Mr. Bosworth’s last great challenge to solve....this new era in computing will have effects far beyond a little more efficiency. Consumers could see a vast increase in the number of services, ads and product upgrades that are sold alongside most goods. And products that respond to their owner’s tastes — something already seen in smartphone upgrades, connected cars from BMW or Tesla, or entertainment devices like the Amazon Echo — could change product design.
Quentin_Hardy  Industrial_Internet  data  data_centers  data_driven  machine_learning  Google  Amazon  cloud_computing  connected_devices  BMW  Tesla  Amazon_Echo  product_design  Michael_McDerment  personalization  connected_cars 
january 2016 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: ‘We are meant to be engaged with the big questions’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015

Q: How is your defence of a liberal-arts education more than nostalgia for a bygone era of higher learning, now out of sync with today’s hyper-competitive, skills-based economies?

...what’s happening in advanced manufacturing. In almost every industry, basic production is getting commoditized. It’s becoming routine and simple, and most everything we consume, to put it bluntly, can be made by a machine or a factory worker. You can manufacture a $30 sneaker anywhere in the world but, to sell it for $300, there has to be a story around it, there has to be beautiful design, there has to be interesting marketing; you have to understand social media....because product[s]stand out only if you understand how human beings use technology....Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook is more about psychology and sociology, two liberal arts, than technology...a liberal education provides you with a rounded education in every sense of the word. It teaches you how to write, which I think is the most important aspect, because you learn how to think. It teaches you how to learn. These are soft skills but they’re not lesser skills.
liberal_arts  humanities  Fareed_Zakaria  Rudyard_Griffiths  social_media  Mark_Zuckerberg  education  civics  psychology  sociology  soft_skills  thinking  design  product_design  Daniel_Pink  UX 
april 2015 by jerryking
Why empathy is an economic necessity - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013

The world is full of wonderfully engineered, but poorly designed products – with no eye for how the average person might use it. This highlights a certain quality that isn’t taught in business schools but can make a huge difference for companies developing new products: empathy.

Empathy is the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s far more than just being a nice person. If properly developed, empathy can give you and your company a distinct competitive edge. Negotiating a contract, dealing with workplace conflicts, coming up with a marketing campaign, or dreaming up the next must-have consumer gadget all require the ability to see the world through eyes that aren’t your own.

Sadly, managers and human resource departments too often neglect the interpersonal skills that are so essential to achieving results. Along with other aptitudes such as story-telling and creativity, empathy is underappreciated by many in the corporate board room. The fact that we even call them “soft” skills implies that they’re less important....The ability to see the world through the eyes of others is an economic imperative. If empathy were given the attention it deserves, companies would find new ways to please their customers. Innovators would dream up systems that save time and money. Conflicts would be resolved more easily. And maybe – just maybe – engineers would design products that are simple to use.
empathy  product_development  design  skills  storytelling  Todd_Hirsch  UX  usability  competitive_advantage  under_appreciated  people_skills  new_products  interpersonal_interactions  soft_skills  delighting_customers  product_design  economic_imperatives  must-have_experience 
august 2013 by jerryking
reportonbusiness.com: Changing Gears
April 25, 2008 | Globe & Mail | by JOSHUA KNELMAN. Their
goal: Improve the experience of cancer patients at Toronto's Princess
Margaret Hospital. GEAR 1 DEEP USER UNDERSTANDING - Grichko and Leung
spent weeks hanging around PMH. GEAR 2 IDEATION AND PROTOTYPING The team
sat down with 20 PMH staffers—managers, surgeons, nurses and support
workers. "The idea of brainstorming is to have no limits—think big,"
says Leung. GEAR 3 STRATEGIC BUSINESS DESIGN Grichko and Leung asked
two key questions: "What do we need, and what's possible?" The answer
was simple: to create a better waiting-room chair
brainstorming  design  design_thinking  furniture  hospitals  idea_generation  ideation  innovation  MBAs  observations  OCAD  product_design  prototyping  Rotman  strategic_thinking  thinking_big 
february 2009 by jerryking

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