If you haven’t see this TED video by Eli Pariser, you may be trapped in a bubble of your own creation. Pariser’s talk on Filter Bubbles focuses mainly on consumers. The implications are frightening for what it means about the quality of debate and progress we make as a society.
Here’s a brief description of a filter bubble. Remember you all used to watch THE news? Well now you only watch YOUR news. This also has huge implications for the type of market intelligence companies are increasingly relying on. Most social media analytics platforms, due to cost and complexity issues, allow their client firms a very narrow view of themselves.
Take the typical Social Media Analytics business model. You are charged based on the number of results returned by your query. New customers routinely report blowing their entire monthly quota in the first run of data. The result is predictable—the service credits you the results you’ve overspent and helps you narrow your terms to an acceptable level of cost. Now you have both predictable costs and predictable outcomes. It mimics the age old joke of finding a drunk man searching madly under a street light.
“What are you looking for?”
“My contact. It fell out across the street.”
“Why are you looking here?”
“The light is better!”
Clients are becoming like the drunk—trapped in the logic of the filter bubble and doomed to search for new things in places they’ve already illuminated rather than preserving the agility required to discover and react to rapidly-changing market dynamics. Watching these firms rely on such narrow views of the competitive landscape is like watching a teen horror movie…clueless teenagers walk into the darkest old mansion without a flash light after their peers have been slaughtered by the grindhouse of consumer market dynamics.
How are the economics of your market intelligence sources impacting your world view? Are you trapped in a filter bubble? How long till the air runs out?
IDC released a report today that said Android Tablet market share was down and iPad 2 share was up during Q2. Here we are almost three months from the close of the quarter and now we know that the iPad 2 is leading the pack! Surprised? We aren’t at Argus Insights, but not for the reasons you might think. We measure the market expectations of the user experience in a way that correlates to sales. This means we can anticipate sales trends well before the classic market research firms release their reports. How can we do this? I’ll let you in on our little secret. Delight drives revenue. That’s it. And we measure how different products or services dish up delight to their customers or serve a cold, soggy bowl of disappointment.
Just to throw down the gauntlet, we are setting in stone a prediction that Q3 will be even bigger for the iPad smackdown of the rest of the tablet market. Delight continues to increase, even i
n the face of competition augering into the pavement. See these results below.
What is going on? The hardware hasn’t changed. There isn’t a new iPad on the horizon. What caused such a marked increase in the market expectations of the iPad2 experience? I believe it’s the opposite of buyer’s remorse combined with a healthy dose of back-to-schoolitis, which has been known to cause market swelling. In the face of the turmoil around the HP TouchPad’s mistreatment by HP’s CEO, many iPad 2 users are tssking their tongues at their less fortunate cohorts and saying, “Dude, you chose poorly.” As such, we believe that Apple will gain additional share in Q3 based on this late summer surge. Move over Arab Spring, it’s been an Apple Summer.
Argus Insights CEO and founder, John Feland, is hosting a free webinar on Thursday September 29 at 10 A.M. PST. The webinar “Delight or Die. Does Your Product Only Satisfy?” will review a recent case from the tablet product category and dive into the key attributes that are important to tablet users. See how consumer expectations are shifting as new products are released and how consumer expectations change in response.
Feland will introduce you to Consumer Innovation Analytics (CIA) and show you, in real time, what consumers are expecting by product category. We are excited to show you how CIA can dete
ct market disruptions, measure campaign effectiveness, and plan for next-gen products or even quick-turn firmware updates. We’re getting one step closer to better experiences and greater market impact!
You may have heard IDEO founder David Kelley talk about the importance of hiring T-shaped people. These are folks with a depth of expertise in one area, but enough breadth of empathy and skill to work across multiple domains. This organizational design insight is one of the keys to IDEO’s successful creation of multidisciplinary innovation teams that consistently turn out heart-stopping innovation after another. You could make the argument, quite successfully, that it takes teams of T-shaped people to create T-Shaped experiences.
What’s a T-shaped experience? It’s one in which the ecosystem creates a coherent and delightful flow through the arc of the experience for the user, but requires the coordination of several disparate ecosystem partners. The most notable experience of late is the device-content-service ecosystem that Apple has created around the iPhone. Apple has chained several players around the anchor of their device to architect one of the most defensive consumer positions in the market today. What’s interesting is how others are leveraging this same play using their own T-shaped anchor.
Amazon surprised the world when they went into the hardware business and launched the Kindle. Amazon leveraged their T shape with strong content and retail experience to extend into a dedicated and unprecedented reading experience. It’s the opposite tact of Apple, but just as effective in creating a powerful experience that Apple has had to compete with by changing their developer agreements when no other strategies proved successful. Barnes and Noble followed suit when they created the Nook. Both companies realized that people were not consuming less content (books, movies, music), but they were consuming it differently (no more CDs when you have Pandora, no reason to buy and carry 600+ pages of The Deathly Hallows when it can fit with the rest of your in-hand library). Rather than being left behind, Barnes and Noble chose to lead. Borders, unfortunately, realized this too late and didn’t follow their customers out of the store and into their homes fast enough.
But this is old hat! Why name these new experiences as T-shaped? It’s because this strategy is reshaping mobile computing. When Google announced intentions to buy Motorola’s mobile computing assets, much hype was made about the IP gains in defense of Android. Less discussed was how Google is embracing the T-shaped
experience by bringing hardware into their direct control. Google now could integrate vertically and horizontally just as well as Apple or Amazon. It also means that Motorola gave up in competing in a market place where their I-shaped experiences (hardware, hardware, and hardware) were not cutting the mustard with consumers. HP, in the face of difficult competition in a growing population of T-shaped experiences, decided to exit the market entirely rather than explore content parters to grow the right wings on their I. Now there are rumors of Amazon releasing a tablet, which will further extend their reach into the lives of their consumers and grow their wingspan at the same time. Question is, what is the next frontier?
We think it’s bandwidth—mobile broadband. Why? Because our thirst for content on these portable gateways into our connected lives makes access to bandwidth the weakest link in the experience. Witness in the graph below the rise in Delight by iPhone 4 customers when they could actually make a phone call on the Verizon network. AT&T was that awkward friend who came along for the road trip because it was their car. Once Apple proved they were cool enough to hang uptown, they were able to trade up for a friend with a beamer. Now the iPhone 4 is a complete experience. It’s a smartphone that can actually make phone calls!
This means that access to quality broadband service is a critical part of the next evolution of T-shaped experiences. Will we see Amazon buy Sprint to spread their wings further? Will AT&T purchase HP’s ailing assets and make a go of it? What will the dominate hardware manufacturers, like Samsung, LG, or Acer, do in the face of these market changes? Spread their wings or exit stage right? WWBGD? (What would Bill Gates Do?) These are questions to be explored in another post…
The world is moving rapidly to T-shaped experiences, because they are more defensible. Consumers enjoy the high-quality user experiences within these maturing ecosystems, but it brings with it significant disruption to the consumer electronics ecosystem—the impact of which we have yet to fully experience.