Technology is taking us back – to our benefit
Today there is a shift. Technology is helping us to once again embrace the values of a time when business was about seeing the individual customer. But it's not the technology in isolation, particular platforms or specialized functionality that's driving the change; what's driving this new wave of relevance is the humanity of the entrepreneurs and business owners who create the products and user experiences that talked at and sold to. people love. Technology is not just taking us forward—it's taking us back. It's giving us back the ability to better understand our customers so that we can be not only useful, but also important to the people we serve. Upstarts like Lyft and Airbnb are stealing a march on their competitors not just because they have information about their customers, but because they are intentionally building organisations that use that information to create better experiences—ones that make people feel good and give them a story to tell.
Creating a habit, the Pepsodent case
A prominent American executive named Claude C. Hopkins was approached by an old friend with a new business idea. The friend had discovered an amazing product, he explained, that he was convinced would be a hit. It was a toothpaste, a minty, frothy concoction he called “Pepsodent.” To sell Pepsodent, then, Hopkins needed a trigger that would justify the toothpaste’s daily use. He sat down with a pile of dental textbooks. “It was dry reading,” he later wrote. “But in the middle of one book I found a reference to the mucin plaques on teeth, which I afterward called ‘the film.’ That gave me an appealing idea. I resolved to advertise this toothpaste as a creator of beauty. To deal with that cloudy film.” In focusing on tooth film, Hopkins was ignoring the fact that this same film has always covered people’s teeth and hadn‘t seemed to bother anyone. The film is a naturally occurring membrane that builds up on teeth regardless of what you eat or how often you brush.-" People had never paid much attention to it, and there was little reason why they should: You can get rid of the ?lm by eating an ...
Mirror neurons at work
IN 2004, STEVE JOBS, CEO, chairman, and co-founder of Apple, was strolling along Madison Avenue in New York City when he noticed something strange, and gratifying. Hip white earphones (remember, back then most earphones came in basic boring black). Looping and snaking out of people’s ears, dangling down across their chests, peeking out of pockets and purses and backpacks. They were everywhere. “It was, like, on every block, there was someone with white headphones, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen,’ ” Jobs, who’d recently launched his company’s immensely successful iPod, was quoted as saying.
You could term the popularity of the iPod (and its ubiquitous, iconic white headphones) a fad. Some might even call it a revolution. But from a neuroscientific point of view, what Jobs was seeing was nothing less than the triumph of a region of our brains associated with something called the mirror neuron. In 1992, an Italian scientist named Giacomo Rizzolatti and his research team in Parma, Italy, were studying the brains of a species of monkey—the macaque—in the hopes of finding out how the brain organizes motor behaviors. Specifically, they were looking at a region of ...