Tuesday, 21st November 2017

Elegant Design Turns Mundane Into Must-have

Posted on 22. May, 2012 by in Blogs

The heat of competition rose quickly this spring when Honeywell filed suit against Nest for patent infringement over a smart home thermostat. Looking at the recap reported by techdirt, it appears as if Honeywell has little basis for its claims. It does, however, have cause for concern.

Why would a Fortune 100 company with $36.5B in annual revenue spanning industries as diverse as aerospace, oil refining, and smart grid technologies care about a startup like Nest? If the business principles underlying The Innovator’s Dilemma hold true, Honeywell will not be capable of combating disruptive technologies with innovation of their own. Their only recourse is to use the legal system to slow market share erosion.

By now you might be asking what is so compelling about a new thermostat for your home. It’s beautiful and very simple to use. So is Nest’s website. Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod, applied the Apple philosophy when designing the thermostat. The device learns your behaviors and applies its knowledge to effectively manage energy consumption and the comfort level in your home.

When you get down to it, smart companies begin product and service design with the end user in mind. Sure, using a smart thermostat will help save up to 50% on your home energy bill. Just seeing the device makes you want to install one today.

And that’s the lesson companies must learn in order to compete effectively in a connected consumer world. Deliver a compelling user experience at every touch point. Enough companies have shown what great design can do that being ‘good enough’ simply isn’t good enough any more.

If you struggle with how to begin designing with the customer in mind, you can start by reading the Customer Development Manifesto by Steve Blank. For more detailed guidance, you can follow the customer development model described in The Startup Owner’s Manual.

Post By Marcia Moran (314 Posts)

Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran helps organizations reimagine what’s possible and provides the framework for clients to achieve stellar, long-term results.

As a Performance Architect, Marcia uses the principles discovered through neuroleadership and positive psychology to deliberately design the employee experience and corporate culture. Blended with pragmatic systems design, these elements free people to play to their strengths while reducing strife in the workplace. As a result, people can push beyond their known limits as individuals, as teams, and as companies.

Marcia is also the Vice President of Marketing for Intelishift, a colocation company with operations in Ashburn, VA and Silicon Valley. Prior to moving to the Metro DC area, she worked as a business consultant for Up ‘N Running and advised startups and small businesses in the areas of management, operations, and marketing.

Marcia earned an MBA from Chapman University. She loves to travel, speaks Norwegian, and unwinds by kayaking and painting landscapes. Marcia recently co-founded Positive Business DC with Shannon Polly and Donna Hemmert. Positive Business DC provides resources to help people increase the levels of well-being in the workplace and at home.

Website: → Performance Architect

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