Woz on what makes Apple “human”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCQukZZ1RH4?wmode=transparent]

“The distinction between technology and humanoids. Who’s more important: Human or the technology? We had a gentleman, classical musician, that came to Apple to talk to Steve Jobs and myself in the garage. He told us that when you build a piece of technology you get to put a lot of work into it – software and hardware – to make it natural and obvious and easy to use for a human being. Then you have priced the human being at the top of the chain. If you simply put in every feature in the world and every ability and let the human being modify their normalness to learn how to use it, you place the technology higher, as the master, and the human being more as a slave. Obviously, we think of the way we don’t want the human being to be the slave, we want the human being to be the master. We want to build things around the human being as though it was the center of the universe.”


On representation in Cinema (Bollywood)

Was having a discussion with some colleagues on the shifts in Indian (Mumbai / Bollywood) cinema. One asserted that we’ve seen much experimentation and avant-garde film-making in recent times. I feel that there’s only two kinds of movies that have been made in Bollywood, in the past decade, over and over (barring a few exceptions):

1. Micro-narrative escapism – small-town people (or their kids) go to big city, get into business / find love, find opposition, show dedication, overcome, succeed.

2. Gritty realism – small-town people (or their kids) go to big city, get into shady business / find forbidden love, show dedication, do something stupid, everyone dies.

Not really original so much as it is the shift in “who” can now make a movie.

Where earlier you needed to be part of a particular elite supported by either big-name stars or the shadier financiers of Bollywood cinema, Mumbai saw a shift about 10 years ago, after a spate of extortion-related crime and killings that also saw the “professionalization” of Bollywood. You could now borrow money from banks to produce films. You could have professional investors and studios like Star (Fox) or UTV produce your film, etc. Which meant different people with different stories could now make movies.

So where almost everything before 2000 representing one form of values, “paid for” by the richest .5%, the stuff since then is “paid for” by maybe the richest 10% – the “new” narratives represent a “newness” in the demographic making the movie, not new kinds of “creativity” or new kinds of “stories”.

On the heart and the head, on passion and emotion, and “hmm”.

Frederik (@adplanner on twitter) tweeted: 

“What the heart feels today, the head will understand tomorrow” – James Stephens

My first response was “desire precedes comprehension” – which is something of a universal truth, you’re likely to “feel” a desire or liking for something much before (maybe miliseconds apart, depending on the object/process/flow in question) you are likely to “understand it”

Desire and comprehension are like two cognitive tipping points. One leads to action, the other to rationalization. I think that’s a good question to ask when you’re designing a product or service. We often manage to get either one right. The better brands tick both boxes. Desire is aesthetic, visceral (in the broadest senses of the two words), while comprehension is logical, the perceiving and acknowledgment of structure.

Call it the “ooh!” and “aha!” moments of interacting with an object. I’d add a third — the “hmm” moment — which is the pondering, asking whether it works for you, whether you’d buy it again, etc. Not sure most brands realize the third one even exists.

This is found most in brands with a strong belief in service — TAJ or the Four Seasons or the Luxury Collection at Starwood, Apple’s Genius Bar, iTMS, App Store, and now iCloud (everywhere but India, I suppose x-( ). The “hmm” test is what happens after you have the customer on board, once you’ve enlisted them in your country, your territory, your religion; how you keep the conversation going. 

The history of the BCG Growth-share Matrix

Been reading about the histories of a lot of strategic models, here’s the inception of the BCG Matrix:

“It occurred to me that the savings account is the growth business – it automatically compounds, but you get no cash out of it. The bond is your stable market-share business that’s throwing off cash and an equal amount of earnings and maintains its value over time. The mortgage is the business that’s declining, and the way you should manage it is to pull cash out. Those were the three pieces of the corporate portfolio, he concluded, “but since I couldn’t imagine how to deal with three” – perhaps sensing, too, that he was one element short of some sort of elegant balance – “I added the fourth, the wildcat, meaning wildcat, well, a pure speculation, either it pays off or it doesn’t.”

Interesting roots, I thought.

The matrix is shown here: