Tag Archives: design

Shopping for Innovation: What you need to know before hiring a design firm

This guide was written for Core77 in late 2006, co-authored with Steve Portigal. I was looking for it today, as I wanted to share the distinction between a Vendor of innovation and design services and a Partner who goes beyond the requested task to discern and perceive the real challenge to be solved. I couldn’t […]

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Mobile First Africa: Opportunity for Accessories that Boost Productivity on Smartphones

Long ago, when smart phones were still on their way to changing the world, I remember the product development of a host of accessories that would boost business productivity in a variety of areas for phone owners. The projector phone was one such innovation, flopping back when it was launched due to the tech not […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Distribution, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Operation Elop, the final years of Nokia by Merina Salminen and Pekka Nykänen

Operation Elop, uploaded by Harri Kiljander has just been made available in English and I’m already on Chapter 8. I saw the editor’s tweet 23 minutes after he said “It’s done and available on Medium under a Creative Commons license” and I haven’t stopped diving in and out since. It starts with a memorable day […]

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A Very Nigerian Opinion on E-Commerce and Online Fashion Startups

Folake Shoga shares her opinion on the recent spate of tech startups and apps mean to serve Nigeria’s fashion and fabric industry. Two recent articles in Techpoint, the Nigerian online technology magazine, feature initiatives dealing with aspects of the clothing business. One is a startup letting studio space and equipment to makers, 360 Creative Hub; […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Fashionomics, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Technology | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work in Progress: An Introduction to the Informal Economy’s Commercial Environment

This topic is being shared in the form of a collection of essays on the following themes, each becoming hyperlinked on completion. Do bookmark this page for regular updates. Introduction to Background and Context, some caveats apply Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity Rural household financial management as a foundation Linkages and Networks span […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Collection, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, global, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the relationship between economics and design

This is an extract from the Introduction to John Heskett’s seminal paper, “Creating Economic Value by Design” The work of Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1978, is a rare exception of design being considered as a factor in economic theory. His starting point was acknowledging that the world we inhabit is increasingly artificial, […]

Posted in Biashara Economics, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key Competitive Advantage for Frontier and Emerging Markets

There’s a nuance, I’ve discovered, in the application of user centered design methods for entering the frontier and emerging markets of the developing world where a significant proportion of economic activity is confusingly labeled “informal”, rather than unformal as the case tends to be. In more advanced consumer market contexts, where there are umpteen data […]

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Cognitive dissonance and smartphones in East Africa

Its jarring to see high level INGO messaging still talking about “ICT4D” not doing it’s part to bring about technology driven transformation in rural or informal sector Africa when every other sign from the continent points to a mainstreaming of ICT that goes beyond the individual’s capacity to tweet. The kanga is a traditional item […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Culture, Design, East African Community, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Mobile platform, Perspective, Technology | Also tagged , , , | 1 Response

Systemic design thinking and complex adaptive systems

Going back to first principles has been a refreshing exercise. Even as our work has taken us into some wholly new places, there’s comfort in knowing that others have thought deeply about the concepts, though not in our context. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel. Consider it a working prototype to be […]

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Frame Insights: Going back to first principles in the Innovation Planning Process

After conducting research, we need to bring structure to what has been found and learned. We sort, cluster, and organize the data gathered and begin to find important patterns. We analyze contextual data and view patterns that point to untapped market opportunities or niches. Finding insights and patterns that repeatedly emerge from multiple analyses of […]

Posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment