Sascha Wolter: Innovating with Value

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Sascha Wolter was talking about Innovating with Value at Mobilism, these are my notes from his talk.

Relevance is the most important part of achieving things.

Relevance for people often means attaching a buzzword to things, you need to explain your ideas in a way people can relate to. With the internet of things you have to treat your users as partners rather than consumers.

If you can't answer the "why" you can't begin to justify something. There is a business "why" and a user experience "why" - generates a great product. Without user experience you won't get any users. Better story telling generates better products, people can understand it end to end.

People don't fear innovation, they fear change. Change management is the key to innovation.

TV was one-to-many, it's now on-to-one with devices Mobiles have so many sensors they are ideal for internet of things. We will interact with ambient devices - three devices per square meter is a decent estimate for the domestic environment. We can't configure them all, they must be self configuring.

Connected cows: sensors on - and even in - the cow can monitor their milk production potential.

At the moment most of the internet of things experimentation is DIY, there will be millions of devices and there's no way for vendors to manage all of this - need to make APIs available to developers.

With the quantified self privacy is important but it's hard to match that with innovation. There is a fine line between knowing enough and knowing too much. We need empathetic devices, they need to be intelligent enough for people to interact with them. Machines can do more than we often think but what if they are making assumptions or choices we don't agree with?

Design thinking should start with empathy for the user. Know the customer and context. Good ideas take a lot of work. A good technique is to try and work out how to do the opposite - hand stand thinking. Why are these things not possible? You need to understand the "why".

Impact mapping: start with the "why", then "who" then "how" and finally "what". Make this a tree of choices and then select the strongest branch.

Quickly build proof-of-concepts for real environments. Reduce initial investment, get to something that people want to use faster. Prototypes are place holders for finished products. Sometimes just doing something - anything - is enough to get things moving. A prototype can lead to ideas you would never have thought of if you hadn't actually tried things and seen how they work - or not. Trying things out without any purpose doesn't trap you into solving specific problems.

Why? Because we can!