After the success of this article, it seems appropriate to talk about it on stage. So I'll be doing that at the Leading Design conference at the Barbican on 26 October. Organised by conference veterans Clearleft, it's bound to be good.
Smart cities is a terrible name for anything really. Connected cities is no better.
Sounds good in the isolation of a meeting room written on a stone cold ppt slide - SMART CITIES!
These bikes in Manchester are smart and connected in the way the ppt means, but they don’t look very smart or feel very connected.
Three thoughts, three zoom levels.
1x I love this idea as an idea. (In that room, watching the ppt.) I like cycling around cities. I like the way the locations can be flexible. I’m in favour of digitally enabled infrastructure, just like this.
It doesn’t appear to work as well as Boris Bikes. What do we sacrifice for the perceived flexibility? Does this new private (but very public) transport only work with the well established model of fixed locations? Are we too wedded to that? How does Zip Car cope? (We discussed this a bit with Uber and Man Utd last month.)
Feels like work in progress. maybe not enough user research, maybe not enough iteration based on real data. Maybe this only works with state intervention.
100x If this follows the Valley model in full, presumably the private model will win. There will be five or six of these bike companies, littered all over the place and eventually one wins. Maybe then it will get tidier, smarter. People will get used to it and certain Schelling points will emerge. But then one private company dominates and we're starting to see the limitations of that.
23. Statistically no-one wants your new app (that line credit Alex Russell). A few weeks ago there were lots of “Apps have won!” blog posts after the FT ditched its web app in favour of a native app. Now here’s the counter argument, although this time the stats are more compelling.
"Since January 2015, there has been a 68 percent increase in smartphone web traffic in the U.S... Americans have opened apps 22 percent less on smartphones and nearly 50 percent less on tablets compared with the beginning of 2016."
I guess the reality is that fewer people are downloading *new* apps meaning things like Facebook, Twitter and banking apps dominate. (Also the stats are US only.)
25. In the UK, Facebook says it can reach 7.8 million users aged between 18 and 24. The Office of National Statistics, however, says there were only 5.8 million people in that age group in the whole in the country in 2016.
I'm sure traditional media outlets were completely honest and transparent about audience data.
26. Apple releases Augmented Reality Interface Guidelines. Apple has a track record of good guidelines that quickly become industry standard. The famous Human Interface Guidelines being a good example. So this is worth a read.
27. The most fascinating thing I came across since the last notes was the alphachat FT podcast with Scott Galloway. The death of advertising. File under 'a regular drumbeat of stories like this but with better charts'. Or as Larry Summers said, “Things take longer to happen than you think they will and then they happen faster than you think they will.”. (Actually loads of people have said that, seems like Hemmingway was the first. Thanks Russell.)
There is far too much here for this blog. But a few notes:
Wherever people can afford to opt out of advertising, they do. (Leaves advertisers with the audience they don't want.)
So the ad based revenue model is dying. “What does that mean for the advertising industry, if the way they built these huge streams of revenue is collapsing? what does it mean if I’m trying to buy and sell advertising?" Short answer - it means they’re screwed.
If the ratio of sub revenue to ad revenue is more than 50% means you’ll stay in business. (NYT and FT, few others.)
Build a better mousetrap and the brand will build itself. Discovery not persuasion. And therefore Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. (Amazon paid $0 for Whole Foods as the increase in Amazon’s share price more than covered the cost of acquisition. Terrifying. Remember this?)