Need-based product substitution

We use products to satisfy a need. But we can choose from a range of products to satisfy that need. For instance, we use a car instead of a bike to satisfy the need of getting faster to a location. Or we use a train instead of a bike for the same purpose. This substitution is even more evidence in the case of fundamental human needs. For example, we can satisfy the need for leisure through going to the movies, riding a bike or reading a book. It is fascinating that when substituting one product for another, secondary outcomes do not seem to weight that much. A study (in German) argues that there might be a correlation between the amount of time spend with PCs and smartphones and sports. In this case, the smartphone replaced biking as the satisfier for the leisure need. Lately, I have come across three need satisfiers that might not exist in the future anymore. The smartphone, cars, and the cinema. Smartphones We use the smartphone for dozens of things. Besides, the “application” level such as texting, online banking or dating, we also use it on the “need level”. The smartphone is a void killer when

Cameras everywhere

In fifty years or sooner (fifty is just a wide guess) we will be wearing cameras 24/7. Beginnings of that are already observable with GoPros and similar cameras in niche applications (sports, festivals…) or body cams worn by the police. Furthermore, a few new wearable cameras came out recently. Shonin, a camera you clip to your clothes, started August 1st on Kickstarter. FrontRow was announced aon 13th of August and is a round camera you hang around your neck. Whereas Shonin is easily identifiable as a camera, FrontRow has a necklace like design and blends very inconspicuously with your clothes. However, all day cameras have been along for quite some time (see Memoto or Panasonic, for instance) but have only reached the mainstream in the aforementioned niches. There are four reasons why all day cameras are still used only in niches. Expensive (relative to the smartphone): The newly introduced FrontRow, for example, costs $399.00 That is a lot, especially as you still will want to own a smartphone. Unfashionable looks: Even the quite unintrusive looking FrontRow looks to “gadgety” to be worn all day. People’s looks are precious to them (consider how much time and money flows into outfits) and

Digital hangouts

With apps like Houseparty, Oculus Rooms in virtual reality, or the increasing use of second screens we can observe what Business Insider names “digital hangouts”. Digital hangouts are about digital live togetherness. Virtual living rooms in Oculus Rooms and Houseparty (from left to right; Sources: Oculus Rooms, Houseparty) One of the reasons why people like these “digital hangouts” is because it is an entirely natural behavior rooted in our preference for instant feedback to ideas or questions. Just consider study groups or people bouncing off ideas with co-workers. I can imagine that the almost instant access to the internet on Google Home or Amazon Alexa will further enforce this tendency. Eventually, we will want even more instant access to the web and people than we have today. Hearables can provide us with both. Through direct access to voice-assistants (with AirPods, for example, you only have to double-tap one side to activate Siri) we will get instant access to the internet. Sony Anytime Talk is one example for instant access to people. As far as I know, Sony’s Anytime Talk, is the first chat app developed exclusively for a headphone. It allows you to create voice-based group chats with Xperia Ear

The most important product feature is trust

A couple of days ago I came across an app on Producthunt which, once you scan a multiple-choice question, gives you the right answer to it — most of the time. The important part is the addition most of the time. One comment there stated that users will start second-guessing the app if it gives a wrong answer only one time. Eventually, they will stop using the app, because it makes them more work because they lost trust in the app’s ability. That made me realize, that above all the most important feature of a product is the level of trust you have in it. Some are obvious such as the breaks in your car: If you cannot trust that the breaks will work, you won’t use it, regardless of how comfortable of efficient it is. In other products you would not label it trust right away, you might call it quality, speed or reliability. However, what all these traits have in common is that they rely on the level of trust that you have towards a product. Here are hree examples: Siri: You might say that for you, Siri’s most important feature is that is reliable. However, if Siri is