Monthly Archives: March 2007

Pictures from Budapest

Here are the pictures from the seminar I held last year in Budapest at the Italian Chamber of Commerce.

new tools for communication, immediately applicable

Two garantees: new tools for communication, immediately applicable

How to structure a message.

"How to structure a message".

Concept-based economy…

There is much talk these days about the information economy.

Politicians here in Croatia and abroad encourage their people to meet its challenges and hopefully reap its benefits.

But information itself is not what matters, and the Information Economy may not be the best concept on which to focus.

Knowledge and information are a commodity

Knowledge and information have become ubiquitous. They have become a commodity. Consider the following examples.

It takes 0.17 seconds to find out when UK Prime Minister Tony Blair mentioned the words “information economy“. He did so in 1994, on September 13th 1999, again in 2001, 2002 and August 1st 2006 amongst many instances.

A few more keystrokes and we are transported into the world of Ashurnasir-pal II, Google’s stock price on Valentine’s day of 2005 or Max Plank’s law of black-body radiation.

By themselves data and information are sterile. Having information alone is not a differentiating factor since anyone with an Internet connection can have access to it. The real challenge, and money-maker, is to combine this information in an original way.

Coffee and coffee houses existed before Starbucks. Digital portable music players existed before the iPod and so did the wheel for that matter.

Starbucks and Apple’s iPod have become successful because each combined ingredients differently to create new paradigms; customers were happily surprised and wanted more.

Concepts at work

Starbucks, created a unique experience at the point of sale. The concept lies in orchestrating elements such as layout, music, color schemes, the fact that you can buy the New York Times (but not USA Today) in a way that makes the customer feel comfortable. Indeed the customer feels so
comfortable that he will come back several times a week, or a day, and pay premium prices for a commodity like coffee.

The iPod challenged the user experience in the realm of digital portable music players. One key concept was iPod’s re-invention of the wheel to become a navigation device. The iPod took a known concept and used it in a new way. Success translated into soaring sales for Apple.

A path to prosperity

For Croatia, this means that it needs to produce graduates who are capable of original thinking. Knowing the facts is a good thing but not good enough anymore. Graduates will need to produce new concepts rather than repeat information. In other words, a premium will be put on their imagination, not their memory.

One path to prosperity is this: finding the relevant information, understanding it, interpreting it, combining it with other kinds of information to produce a new concept, and finally using research to fill potential gaps.

This article appeared both on News and Views and