(Originally written on 13/04/18 as part of Hi Mum! Said Dad’s weekly newsletter, H! Lites.)

Dear Reader,

This week, we look at app fatigue/PWAs from last week’s issue through another lens and we have gone into a little conceptual overdrive with ‘innovation rooms’, mental models for product management as well as taking a look at Netflix’s consumer science mantra.

Have a lovely weekend,

Hi Mum! Said Dad

Image source: Hubdoc

Tackling ‘app fatigue’ and a look at where native apps hold the upper hand over Progressive Web Apps

In last week’s issue, Oliver touched on the idea of ‘app fatigue’ and how PWAs are being seen as a solution to this. In this short article, we will take a look at the other side of the coin — in what ways do native apps trump PWAs as well as how to tackle app fatigue.

By Jeevan Jayaprakash, Strategist

In Netflix’s early days, A/B testing showed that a busy, overloaded homepage tended to convey value to non-members and therefore drove conversion. Image source: Nir&Far

Netflix’s ‘consumer science’ philosophy

A common pitfall when it comes to product design is thinking that you can read the minds of your target customers. Unless you were born with the mind of Steve Jobs, you are going to need a more rigorous approach to finding out exactly what your customers want and need. This brings us to the topic of consumer science — finding out what what delights customers through the scientific process. Netflix have definitely hit the nail on the head when it comes to figuring out what their customers want. They care so much about consumer science that their former VP, Gibson Biddle, coined the term “customer obsession” .

In this blog post, Biddle talks about how Netflix used A/B Testing, surveys and qualitative research to guide their decisions on their way to earning over 100 million subscribers.

By Oliver Iyer, Strategist

Former US President Obama chairs a meeting in The White House Situation Room where many a fateful decision has been taken. Image source: Wikipedia

Could ‘innovation rooms’ be a thing?

Governments have a ‘situation room’. Hollywood has the ‘writers’ room’. Does it follow that companies need to create an ‘innovation room’ in which all employees are given the mandate to be brutally honest and systematically rip ideas to shreds until only the very best remain?

It goes against everything that most companies preach about the nature of collaboration, teamwork and generally being amicable but there might just be a method in the madness considering that it’s a tactic employed by wildly successful organisations such as Apple, NASA and Netflix.

Whilst the concept of a singular ‘innovation room’ might seem slightly perverse, this article demonstrates that the biggest benefit actually might lie in how an innovation room ends up dictating honesty outside of the room.

By Jeevan Jayaprakash, Strategist

Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway business partner) attributes his investment success to his use of mental models in evaluating investment decisions. Image source: Slideshare

Mental models for Product Managers

The concept of mental models is something that I find fascinating. The Scottish psychologist Kenneth Craik (1943) described mental models as ‘small-scale’ models of reality that the mind uses to anticipate events, to reason and to underlie explanation. We all have our own mental models informed that are informed by our background, our beliefs, our experiences, social conditioning and so on. We rely on these mental models every day.

The argument goes that the best thinkers adopt a wide range of mental models that they strategically deploy to reason through the problems they face at work and in their personal lives. This blog post from Interana picks out some common mental models that work well in the world of product management.

By Jeevan Jayaprakash, Strategist

Brian Chen of The New York Times shows how Facebook retains information on every ad you have ever clicked on the platform. Image source: The New York Times

A deep dive into the data Facebook holds on you

It looks like Mark Zuckerberg successfully managed to navigate Congress’ questioning (which sadly somewhat lacked the incisiveness that the world deserved) without making any serious gaffes or commitments. Whilst there is a lot of talk about how much Facebook knows about you, what does this actually mean in practical terms?

The New York Times provides an insightful look into the extent of the data that Facebook collects and holds on its users as well as the official company line on why this is the case.

Make of that what you will.

By Rob Pisacane, Strategy and Partnerships Lead

The moment a fugitive regrets his decision to drive 90km to attend a concert with his wife. Image source: South China Morning Post

Cool thing of the week!

Police in China managed to arrest a fugitive after facial recognition technology successfully picked up on his presence at a Hong Kong pop star’s concert that was attended by 50,000 people. The man was wanted for his involvement in economic crime.

Police offer, Li Jin, had this to say: “He was very shocked and had a blank face when we caught him”.

I am sure he did. Oh sweet justice.

By Robert Pisacane, Strategy & Partnerships Lead

Originally written as part of Hi Mum! Said Dad’s weekly newsletter, H! Lites.

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