Some SmartDevices will succeed and some will "fail" - view SmartDevices as experiments

GE has just added another round of finance to startup, Quirky, according to Fast Company.  Quirky is a "crowd-sourced invention company". 

 

quirky.jpgI was reading about Quirky's previous products. For some of them, I thought, "great idea". For others I thought, "really - I'm not sure that will ever take off".  But I don't really know - and Quirky probably don't know either (although their crowd-sourcing model means they have ready-made user testing en mass). 

 

For example, do you want a device that tells you when you are running low on eggs? Possibly not. But how about if this is extend to all items in your refrigerator and other food storage cupboards, linked to the RFID tags on your food items? 

 

So, I think that some smartdevices will succeed, others will fail, but many will be stepping stones to smartdevices that DO succeed. Just like in brainstorming where we are encouraged to come up with ideas that may seen crazy because such ideas could be stepping stones to better ideas. 

 

My point is that smartdevices will be experiments, just like mobile games are experiments (who would have thought that a game about angry birds would explode and yet other, more "reasonable" games don't).  Thus, we need to setup our development and feedback systems accordingly.

 

So, the development of the code that goes into these devices must follow an agile and not a waterfall methodology.

 

And we must collect as much data as we can about how our devices are being used. We can do this thru structured data (who bought one, who returned one, who needed a replacement), but also, and very importantly, thru unstructured data, especially social media... "I thought the egg thing would be silly, but I actually use it for my ..."

 

 

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About the Author
Mike has been with HP for 30 years. Half of that time was in R&D, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product manag...
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