It's wild how few companies excel at both hardware and software but how many products require both now.
It's not just TV sets with amazing screens but terrible menus, it's car companies making incredible vehicles, with stupid ugly tablets.
Companies really need to shift their thinking from products to experiences, and span Software, Hardware and Services.
Generally speaking in the world there are physical companies trying to get digital, and digitally led companies trying to embrace physical. Is Walmart going to get eCommerce before Amazon get’s Brick and Mortar is the classic question, but we see the battle everywhere and it’s a false dichotomy.
My jawdroppingly expensive and beautiful Devialet speakers sound like they come from heaven, yet the app you use to control it looks like it’s been designed by the intern as a side project. Yet when you buy the speakers, you don’t get great sound, you get access to exclusive live broadcast concerts and over the lifetime of the speakers they update with greater connectivity options and better sound quality.
Brands and business need to think less of what you make and more about how it feels in all senses.
The experience of shopping online now includes the packaging, the bill you get from your utility company may be offset by how easy it is to pay, how much extra would it cost to make a Nespressso machine that auto orders coffee capsules and how much more money would that make?
What happens if a TV maker felt the menu design and the remote control was important to make beautiful as it the set itself, what if it came with exclusive apps?
More than anything else we need to think in terms of long term relationships, how do we keep car buyers coming back to the brand, how can we ensure we go from a Samsung TV, to a Samsung smarthome?
By thinking of the physical and virtual, access not ownership, holistic, not device, we can increase the power of what we offer and our ability to charge a premium.
It's fun to think of sectors that could completely changed if we put consumer needs and experiences at the front of the design ,not what engineers wanted to make..
We'd have microwaves with dials not buttons, we'd have laundry equipment with options that people understand, we'd have homes with items we loved using. We need more ambition, more design and more empathy.