what you could learn from a couple rocket scientists

Last week, a few of us from Plaid had the distinct pleasure of meeting a couple of the original engineers/developers for Segway. As a part of their worldwide brand team, we were entertained with some of the most glorious background on Segway. Doug Field, Scott Waters and Michael Taylor presented background on the device, with details on it's history, development, and shared some of the overall R&D philosophy at Segway.

We could all learn a lot from Segway. Their development team is an inspiration to creative people anywhere. I wish their presentations were bottled up for sharing with the world. These were some of the most inspiring, passionate, and intelligent people that I've enjoyed meeting. Here's a couple of awesomely sweet nuggets from my notes at the brand summit:

They celebrate what they call "Frog Kissing Days." These are days where engineers attempt to produce wildly creative devices and ideas that are beyond anything they'd normally attempt. Development without rules. When complete, they celebrate the grandest failures. Kissing frogs. That's a holiday that should be celebrated every month, at every agency.

How do you know that you've created something grand? When your solution creates 50 additional problems. That's what Doug had to say about creation and invention.

The technology adoption curve applies to branding. They detailed some history on great technological advances and explained the technology adoption curve (detailed here), which details how humans accept and use new technological advancements. It turns out that the typical adoption of brand new advances usually takes 15 - 20 years before they're accepted by society. Pretty amazing when you look through history and place items on the curve. This is an important consideration for branders who are dealing with technology - so as to best understand where your audience is in the curve, and what messaging they'll be open to.

Thanks to Michael, Doug and Scott for hanging with a bunch of creative types, and allowing a few people that couldn't even complete a basic math equation, bask in their intelligence.

1 comment:

Ed (mystrategicplan.com/blog) said...

OK I'll buy it. I'm still hesitant to accept the segway, but I think it's just because I couldn't make one look cool. It's the wheeled equivalent of a pink shirt- I'm just not there yet.

On the other hand, I have been seeing them creep up in the govt. sector like you said...

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