Category Archives: Process

Customer-Centric Business Model Design for Financial Inclusion

The Challenge Digital financial services (DFS) seek to bridge the chasm between the structures, policies and institutions of the formal economy, and the cash intensive informal and rural economy. Current day approaches tend to take the perspective of the service providers when assessing the market opportunity and the needs of the intended customers. And so […]

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The values gap in banking the unbanked

Back in 2008, after my first deep dive into the African consumer market, on behalf of Samsung, I’d identified something I called the “values gap” as an intangible barrier between the first world’s consumer brands, and the mindset and worldview of the majority market, then referred to (erroneously) as the “Bottom of the Pyramid.” The […]

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People, Pesa & Place: A Multidisciplinary lens for innovation in social & economic development

This original Venn diagram visualizing the sweet spot of innovation success is a familiar one, with as many variations as there are practitioners. One of the most common is the one below, where business, people (or, as often, design) and technology replace the human centered qualities of viable, desirable and feasible. I’ve used them both […]

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Assessing the size and value of investment opportunities with an informal economy footprint

There’s an interesting snippet from the Nigerian news yesterday that led to this framing of a necessary problem statement. KPMG’s head of private equity is quoted as saying: Meeting current needs of the one billion plus population and, the future demands of the rapidly emerging middle class consumers will drive the next wave of Private […]

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RIP Google BebaPay – Requiem for a cashless payment system

Less than a year after going live, Google is closing down the BebaPay smart card which was introduced as an NFC based cashless payment mechanism for Nairobi’s public transport. Last year, I’d analyzed the context and the operating environment in which they’d launched their service, on hearing the news that they’d been struggling to gain […]

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FAQ on Value creation

The NDA expired 4 years ago 1.    Problem statement: How do you build and maintain trust and commitment without face to face contact with your customers? Value proposition: Through a cohesive, integrated strategy of brand building across all information media sources, whether they be handhelds, mobiles, monitors, screens or even the product interfaces on medical […]

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Designing with Understanding

Wroblewski 2007, Designing with Vision The last 6 years have been nothing more than constant proving of this philosophy and approach, as embodied in the design pyramid as captured by LukeW back in the day. As an ardent proponent of exploratory user research (Chipchase and Jung, 2007) this conceptual image just burst into a million […]

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Projected Impact of recognizing and integrating end-user’s agency on innovation adoption rates

Rajasthan, India January 2009 Our problem statement for the recently completed, two phase project on sustainable agricultural value chains, was framed as follows: What are the barriers to adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that limit their spread and scaling? What are reasons and/or causes of the existence of these barriers?  The complexity and wicked nature […]

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Estimating price in unexplored and untapped markets

In addition to estimating the size and value of the Kenyan cyber cafe industry for our client, Village Telco of Cape Town, South Africa, we were tasked with finding out what would people pay for their product, the Mesh Potato. This challenge was the equivalent of walking up to someone and asking: How much would […]

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Exploring post-industrial platforms

This spread is the centerfold of an interesting little PDF called Fact, Forces, Fog:: Reckless guesses in a time of change by The Doblin Group of Chicago.  I was first introduced to it in the Fall (Autumn) semester of 2003 when I took Larry Keeley‘s class “Design Planning” (or whatever its being called now) at […]

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