Becoming Rich by Designing for the Poor

(This essay was first published on Egology – The Ideafarms Blog on December 12, 2013)

Last year, Amit Gulati, who runs Incubis Consultants, invited me to participate in an interactive session to think through design ideas for a low-cost washing machine. The workshop brought out some very interesting and fascinating ways of seeing’ that completely overturned the engineering / tech / product way of approaching design problems. Did we need to redesign the washing machine (Product) under stricter constraints [this is the way most people think – start with an existing product, strip it of features, use cheaper materials and processes, reduce quality and make it low-cost], or did we need to go up a level and reframe the problem itself.

Orbits of Influence

Image Courtesy: Incubis Consultants, 2013.

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In the old days — as recently as the dying years of the last century — technology was trying to keep up with our needs. But instead of playing catch up, its pace overtook our needs. In the end, technology, especially those products that were powered by the silicon chip, won the race. Today we have more technology than we need and yet, rather than using what already exists to solve societal problems, we still go after creating more and more technology for the narrowest part of the pyramid – the top. Continue reading

Smart Connections 101 – Shopping, DealChaat and Locality

So here’s the question Tom Koulopoulos is addressing in this brilliant futuristic take on DealChaat, ‘Have I got a deal for you!‘.

(Tom has been named one of the industry’s most influential consultants by InformationWeek magazine. Geoff James of CBS Interactive Media called Tom, “one of the truly deep thinkers in the arena of technology and culture. ” Forbes.com named Tom one of its Business Visionaries with, “an incisive view of world trade…”)

Locality is important.

The bottom line is that inefficient markets tend to put control in the hands of the seller and not the consumer. An efficient market balances the scales. It gives me the best deal as a consumer and also allows sellers to appeal to me directly at the precise moment of need.

Giving control directly to consumers at the moment they’ve decided to buy and on location is not the no-brainer it seems to be. Very few seem to ‘get’ the value it could bring. Not Tom. He goes,

The greatest impact of the Internet has been the evolution of community. We are more connected than ever to the people, places, ideas and things that we want to be part of our lives.

However, this digital connectivity has been slow to find its way into our analog lives. A prime example is the huge disconnect between online shopping and the traditional store-based experience. Although we see the two as being in conflict, the realty is that what’s missing is the connection between the two.

In this age of location-aware smartphones, DealChaat is one platform for creating frictionless markets. Thanks Tom, for your insightful analysis … DealChaat sure has some catching up to do with your visionary thinking. :-)

As apps like DealChaat become pervasive we will be lubricating the wheels of consumerism in ways that will become as indispensable to us in the 21st Century as the Sears Catalog was at the turn of the 20th Century.

And besides, who doesn’t love a deal :-)

Read the brilliant post on Tom’s blog ‘Have I got a deal for you!

innerpage_shoppers1

Check it out. You may want to be associated … write on the blog, help with design, technology, be a critic, join the crack team … let me know.

DealChaat on the web: Facebook, Twitter, Website

Talk to us.

Also interesting in the above context are the following trends for 2013

– #PhotoKaari Contest – How popular are you?

DealChaat’s #PhotoKaari Contest going at a good clip and some nice pictures submitted. A great way to continue celebrating the festival of colors, Holi, without all the mess and waste.

FUN in 3 easy steps 

1. Go “Like” the Dealchaat page on Facebook

2. Upload your masterpiece

3. Tell all your friends to VOTE for your pic

EVERYBODY wins something (till prizes last)

Winning status

Have pictures capturing your most awesome memories from Holi? Played with mud, got your dog colored all pink and blue, got your grandfather to play with you too, your kid’s first holi or that with your neighborhood gang … whatever triggers your Holi memory and that your friends will like. Submit them to the DealChaat PhotoKaari contest. The best thing is that you make your own rules … only you have to “LIKE’ the DealChaat page on Facebook.

(Don’t have any Holi pics? Well its a good thing then that Holi is just around the corner. Time to get that camera ready! Because you don’t wanna miss out on the awesome prizes!) 

The picture that gets the most number of votes will win!

Don’t like playing Holi at all? Worry not my friend.

We won’t hold it against you if you submit any other pic with a lot of color in it. Hey, Holi means color and anything with colors will fly (especially a colorful parrot?).

Contest ends 10th April 2013. So hurry and go shutterhappy.

– #PhotoKaari Contest – Participate to WIN exciting prizes.

Click the image

photokaari4

– #PhotoKaari Contest – Participate to WIN exciting prizes

Have pictures capturing your most awesome memories from Holi? Played with mud, got your dog colored all pink and blue, got your grandfather to play with you too, your kid’s first holi or that with your neighborhood gang … whatever triggers your Holi memory and that your friends will like. Submit them to the DealChaat PhotoKaari contest. The best thing is that you make your own rules … only you have to “LIKE’ the DealChaat page on Facebook.

PhotoKaari

(Don’t have any Holi pics? Well its a good thing then that Holi is just around the corner. Time to get that camera ready! Because you don’t wanna miss out on the awesome prizes!) 

The picture that gets the most number of votes will win!

Don’t like playing Holi at all? Worry not my friend.

We won’t hold it against you if you submit any other pic with a lot of color in it. Hey, Holi means color and anything with colors will fly (especially a colorful parrot?).

Contest ends 10th April 2013. So hurry and go shutterhappy.

– #PhotoKaari Contest – Participate to WIN exciting prizes.

Click the image

photokaari4

Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest – NYTimes.com

An Indian court has issued an arrest warrant for Matthias Müller, chief executive and chairman of Porsche, the German carmaker, and eight other executives from the company.

Another case of German high-handedness where they show little respect to Indian partners, knowing they can rely on their legal system to side with them.

Whether the arrests will happen or not, this action by the Jaipur court is a strong signal that Indian companies have come into their own and will not allow themselves to be walked all over.

Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Matthias Mueller, chief executive of Porsche, posing inside a 911 sports car, at the company’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany on Jan. 9.

via Indian Court Issues Warrant for Porsche C.E.O.s Arrest – NYTimes.com. Continue reading