I got “Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital” by Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander in my goodie bag from Virgin Disruptors back in October when I attended as a guest. Reading it was the perfect post-Disruptors activity. It confirms what each and every member of the Disruptors tribe is all about – “making a meaningful and enduring contribution”.
When it comes to business, you really cannot forget it’s all about people and the effect you have on them. Whatever you are producing (be it product or service), you need to ask yourself this: is my offering making life easier/better for people?
Being part of a tech company, a true agent of digital transformation, it could be easy to forget all about human nature. But digital is the means, it is not the end goal.
Digital is the means, it is not the end goal.
“At the far side of an app, a Tweet, a digital anything, there’s a person”. What are you doing for that person? And whatever it is you are doing, make sure you let people know in simple, interesting ways.
Nothing in life that’s truly worthwhile comes easy. Making people’s lives easier will mean making life complicated for yourself. And that’s fine, as long as you use creativity and imagination to come up with something of value. Work for VOI (value on investment), not ROI. The return will come, as long as the value is there. Evolving towards something better is one of our highest needs as humans.
The guys at Nike, under Stefan’s leadership as VP of Digital Sport, ask themselves these 5 questions about every single product:
1. Does it help athletes (people) get better? 2. Does it have the potential of reaching a million new people? 3. Can it be explained in two sentences or less? 4. Would we use it ourselves? 5. Is it simple, human and indispensable?
When your product or service can answer all five – or the appropriate variations on them – it’s worth investing in. As a tech company, I want to make the way businesses trade simple and make life easier for people at work. Remove the paper, the manual data entry finance guys waste their valuable time on. Offer a digital tool they can access on their mobile devices. Just like they are used to using at home! Workplaces are changing and becoming flexible – so too should the tools used at work. I want to empower people as opposed to hindering them and work with them to figure out the best way of doing things.
All the talk lately is about technology. Viewed with fear or excitement, depending on who you speak to. But technology is not the the most powerful force in the universe. The most powerful force at play at any given time is imagination. Imagining a better way, an easier way and then using technology as the tool to achieve it.
Making it simple and keeping it interesting is what will help you achieve that goal of “making a meaningful and enduring contribution”.