Connected products trip up the incumbents

13.12, Friday 19 Dec 2014

Coffee morning three! Six of us this time: Josh, Gavin, Alex, Raph, and Daniel. Thanks for coming!

I kept some notes…

Something about commissioning a sit-com pilot about open data?

Sexy turducken. Don’t ask.

Fridgeezoo fridge pets. Which are SO CUTE.

And a long, rambling conversation that had no conclusion but - to my mind - is the most interesting consequence of web-connected products and the new hardware startups.

Which is that manufacturers never spoke to consumers before. They spoke with distributors and retailers. But now products are connected to the internet, manufacturers suddenly have a relationship with the consumer. And they literally don’t know what to do. Should marketing look after this? Or product development? Or customer service? Or should it be outsourced to an agency, like advertising?

For instance… the “Tips” application on the iPhone. Who looks after that? Who makes sure the content is good? Apple is an exceptional company, and they care about customer experience at every level. But could Bosch do this? Or Magimix?

If companies don’t get this right, their products won’t be any good. But to get it right, they need to restructure. I saw this challenge multiple times while we were consulting on new connected products.

But the incumbents will find it hard to adapt. Which leaves the door open for new hardware companies who behave more like companies that run websites: In touch with their community, selling direct, a product group that cares about the product in-use not only until the moment it leaves the factory.


Also we had crackers and festive hats. Proof.

Next coffee morning

I’m loving this different mix of people each time thing. I was fully expecting to sit on my own doing email, and ended up having a brilliant and funny bunch of conversations. A proper little street corner!

Next coffee morning: Thursday 15 January, 9.30am till whenever, the Book Club again.

Pop it in your calendar, it’d be lovely to see you.

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