The rise of design signaled the fall of Nokia, RIM and Motorola describes how engineering is becoming less important in distinguishing hightech and other products from each other. It also presages a seismic shift away from product towards customer experience in determining market leaders for people-oriented products and services. A very large portion of product companies will follow in the footsteps of these three former mobile phone titans unless they transform their focus from product features (engineering) to customer experience (design).
By no means do I imply that engineering is not important—in fact, it is more important than ever—I assert that it is less important than design in differentiating people-oriented products. Engineering is abstracted away from the customer/user of the product, and design explicitly addresses how the customer uses the product to attain outcome(s).
Design is to the Knowledge Economy what engineering was to the Industrial Economy.
U.S. healthcare transformation has been the subject of innumerable conferences, debates and programs for many years, and social business will play a large role. Reducing cost without sacrificing quality of care has become the common goal, so I believe social business will be a key lever because social technologies dramatically reduce the cost of collaboration.
I have monitored healthcare reform for many years, and I sense that various factions, players and special interests are finally realizing that they must change. “Obamacare,” the protracted poor economy and a rapidly aging population are forcing many players out of their comfort zones.
I attended two events last week that provided interesting glimpses from behind the curtain, so I’ll share my notes here. One conference was co-sponsored by Baker & McKenzie and Deloitte, and the other was held at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.