Building usages to create experiences

I will take a safe bet here. You guys have all read Eric Ries book the Lean Startup, right? And if you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to stop what you are doing now and go read it. After you finished reading this article obviously.

How to build a product
Lean development methodology

Ok, cool. So what now?

As you may know, new generations value the experience they get from using a product over the product itself. They easily substitute a product for another for the experience it provides.
That means you need to focus on the experience over your product, and so you need to apply the lean development methodology to the experience and not the product.

You could build the coolest technology, the best one, but if it falls too far from people expectations it will remain science fiction to them. You need to bring them a relevant experience, they need to have a huge incentive to give it a shot. But more importantly you have to bring them this experience gradually.
You can’t go all-in in one hand. People are easily freaked out and that will bring the freak out of their shit. I’d bet that people love science fiction movies because they are fictions before anything else. They all imagined themselves flying into the Millennium Falcon but very few would actually take the ride if you’d tell them they could.
There is a certain pace at which people are comfortable adopting and using new technologies, if it goes too fast they discard it and you can go back years behind in your roadmap.
Do you remember the Google Glass? This is exactly what happened to them, and the reason why the early adopters were called the Glass-hole…

The adoption of a new product is brought by the experiences it enables. I am sure that back then people got freaked out the first time they saw a car running, but once they realized it enabled them to travel faster they all wanted one.
When introducing new technologies to the masses, what’s true about younger generations and the experiences is true for everyone.
People building these new technologies shouldn’t ask themselves if they could build, but if they should, and even better they should ask themselves how they should build it.
Therefore, building new kind of experiences is very much alike building new products. You need to be lean. By creating and delivering the new experience gradually you can create a win-win situation. It enables people to adopt it step by step, but it also give you more time and some slack to build your new technology. Gathering feedbacks during the entire journey it enables you to adjust what you are building to the usage needed by people. And more often than not the usage they found about your product isn’t what you envision at first, thus changing the end user experience drastically.
In your early steps, you don’t even need to build new technology, you can start creating usages with existing ones. You have to keep in mind that we are talking of purely consumer experiences here. Once you have tested the experience on few users, you can improve it over and over again until you have created a completely new and compelling experiences for your users thanks to technology.
While bringing these new experiences, you will also discover new usages you didn’t think about in the first place, adding even more to the experience and opening opportunities to develop other new technologies.

The bottom line is quite straight forward. I am bullish on Augmented Reality, and brainstorm with as many people and business as I can on the topic.
When being asked what AR could do for them or how it could better their business I have no answer. Instead I turn the question asking what are the usages we could bring that would transform the experience of the end users. What are the new usages that would make sense to be introduced. Once we thought about these questions, we then start looking at on how we could use Augmented Reality to bring these usages to life.

Let me leave you on what I think should be your roadmap to innovation.

  • Start by creating new experiences and usages.
  • Use existing technology to make it happen.
  • Improve the technology you are using to better the experience.
  • Develop new technologies to transcend the usage and unlock new opportunities.