February 26, 2016

Friday Finds: Robot Workforce, Bad Roads and Bending Phones

February 26, 2016

Friday Finds: Robot Workforce, Bad Roads and Bending Phones

Predatory Marketing, Ashton Bishop, iPhone, Marketing Strategy, Robots, Ford, Bendy Phones


Machines running the world, trying to build the worst road on Earth and the iPhone mistake that turned into a technological success. This is Friday Finds: our take on three of the top things making news in the world this week.

 1.    Robots are taking over the world – and other conspiracies

Hotels in Japan run entirely by robotic staff, machines that lift heavy boxes in seconds and artificial intelligence that replaces lawyers. A recent article by the Australian Financial Review indicated that the rise of artificial intelligence and robots in the workplace could be the catalyst for mass unemployment and dislocated economies. What does this mean for humanity and how can we ensure our jobs won’t be snatched away by metal hands?

Thankfully, Predatory Marketing frameworks are helpful in dispelling any fear of humans becoming redundant – we’re still pretty far from the day our fridges do the school drop off. 

Predatory Marketing is about finding the weakness that arises from your competitor’s greatest strength. For humankind, machine intelligence is our greatest competitor due to its extreme efficiency. The weakness that arises out of extreme efficiency is a machine’s inability to account for randomness, human error and emotions.

We are moving towards individuality and customisation: humans naturally search for connection, understanding and love. Remember, at the end of the day, machine intelligence doesn’t offer the empathy, emotion and sensitivity that humans can. And that will be your greatest competitive edge.

 2.    Ford knowingly built the worst road in the world

You think your commute is tough? Imagine driving your car down a road filled with the worst possible road conditions one after another.  Your head bangs against the car roof as your tires are caught in seemingly endless potholes and cobblestones.

Ford asked their customers to describe the worst roads they had ever driven over. The hellish list included Parisian cobblestones, Belgian granite blocks and a replica rail crossing. Ford then built this road and used it to test their vehicles for tire endurance and suspension.

This is an example of the power that can be harnessed by involving customer empathy in business strategy, to create the product customers need. Also, note the effectiveness of the explainer video in making the audience feel included in the product lifecycle.

3.    Mistake, meet success

More often than not, mistakes can be great innovation in disguise. Remember when the iPhone 6 first came out and people discovered it was bendable? Videos of people bending their iPhones were all over YouTube.

In a world where your greatest errors could be innovation in disguise, you have to be quick to recognise a potential opportunity. The ReFlex capitalised on the idea of a bending phone by creating a display that captures the feeling of flipping pages in a book.

Rather than burying your head in the sand after what feels like a huge mistake, iterate your idea and see if you can turn potential failures into innovations.

Know of an interesting news topic or want us to feature your company? Send us a request here. We are constantly looking for exciting things happening in the world around us. 


Written by Lina Lau, Special Projects Officer at Step Change




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