Designing without the packaging

If we could design without the packaging, we would have a major impact on waste reduction. To save our planet we must firstly radically reduce the amount of packaging we create and consume. Under certain circumstances, e-commerce could be better for the environment than driving to the store. But if e-commerce encourages unnecessary consumption, then… Read More »

From user experience to Earth experience

Digital is physical. Every byte is supported by an atom. Every single action in digital costs the Earth energy. Turn the electricity off and you turn digital off. Digital is demanding an increasing share of the Earth’s energy and resources and is a major contributor to the generation of toxic trash, to a culture of… Read More »

We need more editors

When the means of communications change, societies change, though not always in the ways intended or expected. The printing press revolutionized society, though some of the change was backwards rather than forwards. “There is no evidence that, except in religion, printing hastened the spread of new ideas… In fact, the printing of medieval scientific texts… Read More »

Data expands to fill the space available (Part 2)

If we printed out one zettabyte of data as books, we could give every one of the 7.7 billion people on this planet 129,870 of these books. They’d have almost 13 billion words to read. An average reader can read 1,000 words in about five minutes. It would therefore take 752 years of nonstop, no-sleep… Read More »

Data expands to fill the space available (Part 1)

The problem with physical is often not enough space. The problem with digital is too much space. When new communication technologies expand the capacity to create more communication, people invariably create more communication. With the invention of the printing press, publishing exploded. “In the year 1550 alone, for example, some 3 million books were produced… Read More »

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 »