Umair asks, “Why is the Valley Afraid of MySpace?”
And the answer is simple: because “the Valley” doesn’t understand people. They barely understand products. They understand engineering and technology.
It’s actually very much related to another post of Umair’s, where he writes,
the very definition of the term innovation is shifting to a class of players who are clearly much hungrier – like Ideo, Cheskin, Doblin, etc – and are busy redefining innovation on their own terms, as a design-driven discipline?
I would argue that those firms aren’t as “design-driven” as they are “research-driven”, and that the reason that such firms are embodying current concepts of innovation is because they endeavor to…. understand people.
In this service design world, it’s not about the products, the artifacts, the things that are made. Understanding engineering and technology does not put you ahead of the game.
In this world, it’s about grappling with the remarkable complexity and messiness of interactions, relationships, and flow between people, as mediated by these tools.
This is *exactly* what Lane is trying to get at in his new line of business at Adaptive Path. An attempt to help “the Valley” appreciate that the most important thing a business has is not its technology, but is customers, and understanding those customers is paramount.
And if they don’t, then, also in the words of Umair, they’ll get Ninged or Flocked.