“I don’t care about tech!”
— But I love what it can do for me
Living in a time of technology means everyone is using tech all the time. This is not a choice, it’s a necessity. Still, it’s clearer than ever that people don’t ‘want to use tech for the sake of it’. Being the Head of Technology at a digital company means that I live, breathe and think tech all day, every day, but I still understand and encourage this fact. Understanding this, I believe, is the key to creating successful usable technologies.
One of the most rewarding projects I’ve been involved in is Maitres, in essence, an app where you can find, book and eat at some of Stockholm’s best restaurants while the app takes care of your experience and your payment, as an uber for restaurants.
The brief for this project was to enhance the VIP experience at restaurants through technical innovation. Given that goal, it would be easy for a service innovation company like us to immediately start thinking about the latest technologies such as VR, AR, AI, to solve this challenge. And yes, I admit that we had those discussions early on, but we took a step back to instead view the experience from its core.
- The ultimate VIP restaurant experience is quite basic; You will be greeted in the door as a friend, your table is already waiting for you, the waiter already knows your favourite wine and after the dinner, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of handling a bill.
I.E: The ultimate VIP experience doesn’t include tech, at all?
This statement is totally wrong. Tech is the pure essence of providing this experience, but it’s important to understand that tech is never about tech, it is all about simplifying and enhancing the user experience. The best tech is human-centric and invisible.
This is and has been the key for quite some time, and understanding this is the cornerstone of effective value creation when building a modern company. Let’s take Uber as an example. When they first launched their service they highlighted the story that their service was a cheaper and more luxurious option.
However, their real proposition and the key to their success was that they gave their users a real value; twelve seconds of extra time, by taking care of the payment even before you entered the car. This is the power of tech.
No one wants to use tech, but, Tech has the power of simplifying your life and provide you with the most valuable thing there is — a bit of extra time
The first car wasn’t about a roaring engine and speed, it was about not having to deal with the hassle of taking care of a horse. Uber isn’t about free bottled water and someone opening the door for you, it’s about giving you twelve seconds of extra time by not having to deal with the payment yourself; Maitres isn’t about booking a table, it’s about simplifying your restaurant experience. This is great invisible tech in its essence.
At BBH tech department we’re creating amazing tech every day, and it’s when people do not have to use the creations that we know that we’ve achieved something truly amazing.
Let us know if you want to have a chat about how not to use tech in your company. We will show you how.
Originally published by Erik Agrell, Head of Technology at BBH Stockholm. At blog.bbhstockholm.se.