Cases: Amazon Alexa, Vaping, eBikes & Hello Fresh/Blue Apron

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Making long term predictions is hard… but for many products, you can make reasonable estimates. One of the keys to unlock this potential is having a better understanding of how people make buying decisions. If you know what drives people, you can anticipate which products or service could have a higher adoption rate.

To map & track these decisions over time we’ve developed a framework the “Value Disc”. This method is based on an analysis of the main value drivers of a certain product. Next, it looks at how these value…

One of my obsessions is the continuous interaction between emerging technology and human behavior. Basically, how tech affects our lives and the other way around.

Both directions exist, but the latter is the hardest to spot.

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Tech -> Behaviour: Some examples
- Self-driving cars will free up hours of time for drivers. Instead of focusing on the road, they could work, watch Netflix, eat,… even will alcohol consumption change if cars can drive themselves? Etc.
Will new behavior pop-up when? e.g. Sleeping or power-naps in cars? Autonomous drop-offs of kids to soccer class?

Behavior -> Tech: Some examples - A…

I’ve noticed a peculiar pattern when it comes to future predictions. We’ve all seen how people tend to predict doomsday scenarios when talking about new tech. “AI and automation will kick millions of people out of their jobs!” “Facial recognition will destroy privacy!” …

However, when talking about upcoming new human behavior (instead of new tech), many people are too naive. They often just look at the potential positive outcome but seem to find it hard to spot potential downsides.

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Examples of new human behavior & the consequences:

1. Connect with people all over the world

During the rise of social media, people all of a sudden were…

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I often wonder why certain innovators don’t seem to realize they fell in love with the wrong technology. In certain domains, there is a high degree of certainty on what kind of future there will be. Take the technology of smart cameras and image recognition as an example:

In the not so distant future:
- Cars & Truck will drive themselves
- Retail stores will run without cashiers
- …

Destined for failure from day 1

If cars will soon go without drivers. Why would you explore a device that would monitor brainwaves to wake you up if you fall asleep? …

Too often futurists and dreamers overestimate the rate of change. As a result, vague concepts designed in corporate brainstorm tend to leak out into the wild. Press & tech blogs, hungry for clickbait, are eager to announce the next big thing. “Flying cars!!!” “Nanobots will cure cancer!!” … You get it.

Even if a vague notion of what was announced will get to market, the timing will be way off.

So what are bottlenecks that people tend to ignore?

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Audi flying car concept

1. Changes to infrastructure are too slow

A radical new product or service rarely stands on its own. In many cases also the context it operates in needs…

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Job titles are hard. Does this sketch make sense to you?

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This is not an exact overview, more a conceptual approach to show how I use the different roles.

In our own team of innovation consultants, I assume that most people are covering at least the basics of business & human-centered design. Also, all of them have a basic understanding of the strategic challenges of a new business initiative. At the same time, they can and will work hands-on on parts of the execution of projects when needed. But everyone will specialize…

When we run an intrapreneurship program in a large corporate, we aim to push participants out their comfort zone. During several exercises intrapreneurs have to brainstorm on what the future could bring to their organisation. Spotting emerging trends & technology is never easy. To speed up this process we’ve create a FutureScan Poster with +200 predictions.

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Download as PDF:

Allow me to zoom in on a selection of our 200 inspiration triggers. What happened so far and where do we need to readjust our predictions? (I add the unique number of every trigger as referenced on the poster)


I’m working on a new service to rethink online banking. Before explaining my experiment, I would like to ask 1 simple question:

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For me, checking payments and doing bills is just one of the many chores that I need to do. There is absolutely no sense of pleasure in doing these tasks. Take ‘trash collection’ as an example. At best your innovative product could make this chore more bearable, but it will never be something a normal person will actually enjoy. There is no future in an app offering Trashalytics. A gamified trash saving service has limited market potential. But…

The most engaging movie I experienced recently was actually a game.

It took 14 years since the noir story of Max Payne 1 & 2 to discover another game that managed to pull me in completely. The growing father-daughter relationship in The Last of Us did result in an amazing captivating storyline. This, in combination with stunning artwork and the well designed gameplay made it clear why this title took away all possible game rewards last year.

As with every movie, book or other creative work, I’m interested in…

How Facebook analyses your photos to position ads in your newsfeed.

Facebook understands what’s on your photos. It uses this data to cluster similar posts together on your newsfeed. (but not always successful)

Let me start by the following overview. Everytime you load your newsfeed, Facebook needs to decide which status updates to show you. It also needs to decide how to position them. It seems this placement is more advanced than you might expect.

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It’s no surprise that Facebook reads the caption, descriptions & comments for each status update. The most basic clustering just looks at the textual info that’s available. If two of your friends share a similar…

Nick De Mey

founder — bullsh*t free foresight agency. // founder — @nickdemey

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