Rapid evolution of AI

The earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and it is believed that life began to emerge about 800 million years later. Humans evolved from apes around three million years ago, with modern humans emerging only about 200,000 years ago. The evolution of computers is generally described in generations. The first generation (1940–1956) used vacuum… Read More »

Why does so much software suck?

In the United States, tractors built during the 1980s and 1990s are in big demand. “Tractors from that era are well-built and totally functional, and aren’t as complicated or expensive to repair as more recent models that run on sophisticated software,” Adam Belz wrote for the Star Tribune in January 2020. The tractors are extremely… Read More »

What are you going to remove today?

It’s not that difficult to create or to add something. To remove what needs to be removed, to see what is unnecessary, what is getting in the way, that is such an unappreciated and deep skill. Not just that, to remove requires bravery. The old logic goes: ‘This thing is here. It must be useful.’… Read More »

Dark side of customer obsession

Most of my career has been based on a simple idea: If we became more customer-centric instead of organization-centric, then things would be better for everyone. I still believe in the basic concept but have slowly and painfully come to realize that when customer centricity becomes customer obsession, a highly stressful workplace is likely to… Read More »

The great personalization con

I still have occasional nightmares where after I have given a presentation on how to improve customer experience by focusing on what matters most to customers, two marketers walk up to me. One looks me in the eye and says: “What about branding?” The other smirks and says: “What about personalization?” What about personalization? It… Read More »

If advertising was a parent

Kids! Get inside! Enough of that fresh air and frolicking around playing some useless chase. Inside now! Don’t you know you haven’t done your PlayStation yet? Five hours every day. Why do I have to keep hammering on about it? I’ve been telling you this since you were toddlers: Endlessly play computer games. Endlessly buy… Read More »

Google: from ‘Don’t Be Evil’ to ‘Be Evil’

“Don’t be evil” has been the Google tagline, mission statement, guiding philosophy from practically day one of its existence. In 2018, it quietly dropped the “don’t” from the tagline. Google was entering a new phase of sucking up personal data and sucking up giganormous profits.   Do you remember back in those innocent, hippy, don’t… Read More »

Static or database? Our love of complexity

A database-driven website is a bit like having a seven-seater car. If there’s only two in your household do you really need it? Perhaps a simpler, more energy-efficient static website is better? I used to make these sorts of arguments a lot about 15 years ago, and then for whatever reason I stopped making them… Read More »

The Department of Useless Images

I’ve been asking people to send me examples of where digital government is working well. I’ve been getting lots of great examples but some maybe not so good. One suggestion was a link for a website in a language I don’t speak. When I clicked on the link I was confronted with one of those… Read More »

Are your Web metrics reliable?

Web analytics are highly susceptible to error, manipulation and misinterpretation. They should never be depended on as the sole source of insight. “Facebook might be hosting upwards of 8 billion views per day on its platform, but a wide majority of that viewership is happening in silence. As much as 85 percent of video views… Read More »