Ao longo de um mês de trabalho, o profissional brasileiro faz aproximadamente dezesseis reuniões. Isso mesmo: praticamente uma a cada dois dias. Claro que isso é uma média, diria até que bem conservadora. Conheço empresas onde os principais executivos passam boa parte do dia trancados nesses encontros, sendo que boa parte deles são totalmente improdutivos, por não terem objetivos claros. O exagero do recurso e o descontrole permitem a proliferação de profissionais que ninguém sabe direito o que fazem na estrutura, mas vivem bufando entre os andares, de laptop na mão, rumo ao próximo compromisso dentro da firma. A seguir, listei alguns tipos da fauna corporativa que proliferam nas reuniões:
O TIGRE DE REUNIÃO. É o rei do encontro. Quando abre a boca, possui ideias e soluções para tudo. Quem não o conhece fica intimidado com tamanha eloquência. Ele nunca perde a oportunidade de interromper os colegas para demonstrar que tem algo a dizer sobre qualquer assunto, do problema dos custos das impressoras da firma à crise de refugiados da Europa. Quando termina o encontro, o Tigre de Reunião entra em estado de hibernação. É incapaz de tirar do papel qualquer das sugestões que apresentou. Só acorda na hora da próxima reunião.
O AMIGO DA ONÇA. Seu departamento está longe de fazer as metas do ano? O sujeito finge que o negócio não é com ele e, na frente de todos, promete cobrar os subordinados. Qual o status daquele projeto importante do setor que ele chefia? Sua resposta padrão: “Vou mandar um email ao meu time para saber em que pé o negócio está”. Faz isso sem nunca ficar corado.
A HIENA HARDY. A exemplo do bichinho do desenho, anda com uma nuvem carregada sobre a cabeça. Ó vida, ó dor… É o reclamão do escritório. Nunca faz críticas construtivas. Só abre a boca para dizer que nada vai dar certo ou que aquela ideia já foi tentada inúmeras vezes, sem sucesso…
O MACACO SABIDO. Os colegas de reunião fazem parte de seu show. Não importa o tema do encontro. Quando pede a palavra, é certo que vai se gabar dos seus projetos concluídos. Na fauna corporativa, no entanto, só o burro não desconfia dos números e dados que o Macaco Sabido costuma apresentar atestando o “sucesso” de sua área.
O BICHO-PREGUIÇA. Chega sempre 15 ou 20 minutos atrasado. Além de desrespeitar quem foi pontual, obriga os colegas a repassar os tópicos que havia perdido.
O JACARÉ DIGITAL – Como um réptil na lagoa, fica imóvel, sem dar palpites a maior parte do tempo. Porém, ao observarmos com atenção, percebemos que ele fisicamente está na reunião, mas acompanha as ultimas noticias no tablet, os e-mails no celular, e, mais recentemente, seus grupos de WhatsApp pelo smartphone.
O POLVO GUARDA CHUVA – Parece ter mais braços que o restante do time. Fala de quase dez assuntos ao mesmo tempo, com dez pessoas diferentes. Mas dificilmente se aprofunda na pauta da reunião.
O PAVÃO HIGH TECH – Participa da reunião com a asa aberta a maior parte do tempo e um ar de superioridade, usando pencas de termos de TI e jargões de tecnologia que ninguém consegue entender.
Jonathan Bree 🚀Follow Industrial design, UX, product strategy and startups. Maker. London. Nov 17
At 5am on a cold, misty morning, my plane tumbled to a stop in a strange land where I didn’t speak a word of the language. I was about to embark on one of the best (and most bizarre) adventures I’d had so far — working as a designer at LEGO HQ in Denmark.
I was fresh-faced, just a few weeks after finishing university, and about to be thrown into the deep end of my first real design job.
Over the course of my time there, I would work on a secret project, a real life ‘LEGO House’ — a 12,000 square meter new spiritual home for the cult brand, standing 23 meters tall. The ‘House’ was to be filled with slightly surreal digital and physical experiences showing the values and future vision for LEGO.
That sink-or-swim experience influences much of my approach today. Here are the top five things I picked up in between all of the pickled herring, liquorice-flavoured everything, and hygge*.
1 — Every point of the experience matters
Often as a designer or entrepreneur, the focus is on the product, testing learning and shipping — however, the product is merely one piece of the experience puzzle. Where are the users when they interact with it? What were they doing before? How did they discover it? What will they do after? These are all part of the broader product experience. Every product, whether it may seem like it or not, is a service of some kind, and needs to be considered holistically within the user’s journey.
At LEGO, the approach is to actually map the experiential journey that the product or service will exist within and seek to understand how that can be made better.
Below is one of the tools LEGO uses to plot the user’s mood across the various touch-points of the journey, diving into how the user feels and their situation at any one moment.
Every pain point is an opportunity to be won or wasted, and can add to the product experience… or easily subtract from it.
2 — Build play in
For a product to be truly sticky, it needs to be more than functional, connecting on an emotional level — to be a joy to use… like, actually fun.
Of course, this doesn’t mean throwing unnecessary animations in left, right and centre. The user’s path to completing a goal within the product should never be impeded by pointless fluff, but there are always novel ways to accomplish a task or fun elements can be embedded into the experience.
This is a key part of the LEGO philosophy; embed little surprising moments of play into everything. Although perhaps this isn’t surprising for a toy company. However, this approach is now being applied in markets where it wouldn’t have in the past — take the popular example of Slack, which sits in the ever so lively enterprise communication space… with other fun products like… Lync and Yammer. At the end of the day, any product will be used by real people, so building small moments of delight (what designer Oki Sato calls ‘!’ moments) can be the difference between success or sighs.
Some nice examples:
3 — Think with your hands, not just your head
Make it real. At LEGO, I had the pencil snatched out of my hand and was told – don’t sketch it… build it.
You can perceive the form and functionality of anything so much better once you make it more tangible, and realising something in physical form is one of the best ways of doing this.
Foam models and paper prototypes may seem crude and childlike next to CAD or wire-framing tools, but absolutely nothing beats sense-checking in the real world — the sooner something can be tested, the sooner it can be improved. Something that is astoundingly obvious when you are holding a physical model in your hand and trying it out may be completely lost in the 2D world of a computer screen or on paper.
Get it off the paper.
4 — Don’t be afraid to dismantle to find a better way
Sometimes the only way to fix something… is to take it apart and start again.
When something doesn’t work, it is all too easy to try to fall into the trap of simply fixing it, which will get you back on track as quickly as possible. But this misses the real opportunity, which is to actually re-build with a new understanding of the previous design’s weaknesses.
Just as with making something out of LEGO; it’s always quicker to create something a second time, because your understanding of it runs a little deeper. You know where the awkward parts are, so you can change your approach.
Although it can seem crazy or painful to start again or intentionally break apart something that you put time into creating, the end result will be all the better for it.
5— Simplicity is strength
In the same way that Twitter’s famous 140 character limit frees people from the burden of producing a masterpiece, (and led to significant growth in its early years) LEGO frees people to build quickly, effectively — but most importantly, roughly.
Roughly? Lower fidelity lowers the barrier to entry — everyone can try and anyone can succeed. There is no wrong way to connect simple plastic bricks, and no wrong way to tweet. It is a playground safe from failure. It is much in the same way that many are hesitant to draw in front of a group or are put off by the pressure of a blank page (just think about how often you hear the phrase: “but I can’t draw!”). Whilst drawing may offer more scope and depth, there also comes the perception that someone can miss the mark… creating a subconscious barrier to entry.
Less allows for more.
6 — Allow the plan to change
Yep, I know… I said 5 at the start. But sometimes you have to be prepared to change the plan or break the old structure when it no longer fits or works the given task. Sometimes you don’t know exactly what you are about to create or what the outcome will be, and that’s ok. Let the plan change.
At Highway1, a design accelerator based in San Francisco, startups have four months to transform a prototype into a market-ready product, develop a business plan, create a brand identity, and craft a manufacturing strategy. To ease the process, Highway1 pairs the young entrepreneurs in the program with seasoned pros from top design consultancies.
The startups that made it into the 2016 class—entrepreneurs have to apply to be part of the program—included Blumio, a medical device company that worked with Whipsaw on a blood pressure monitor; OBE, the maker of a wearable virtual reality controller, which received input from Astro; Sensassure, a senior-care company that worked with Ideo to develop a urinary incontinence product; and Calliope, a water-conservation company, which was paired with industrial designer Scot Herbst of Herbst Produkt Design.
We asked Ideo, Whipsaw, Astro, Scot Herbst, and Highway1 about their best advice for startups, the most meaningful advice they were ever given, and other words of wisdom for startups that want to hatch the next great product.
CLARK SCHEFFY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IDEO SAN FRANCISCO
While the team at Sensassure had a great idea to help a population underserved by design—they developed a urinary incontinence product for seniors—they didn’t have much industrial design experience, which is where Ideo came in to help. Clark Scheffy shares his thoughts on universal design and solutions to the most common design challenges he’s encountered with startups.
A startup’s branding should be able to outlive its first product:
“We often work with teams that have a fantastic bit of engineering. But a product is more than what something can do. It’s about communication, delight, and something people aspire to use and will fall in love with. This means collaborating closely as a team to design how the brand will come to life for users. Most teams appreciate this, but in some cases, we’ve heard ‘Oh we already bought a logo.’ In general, we’ve found that companies big and small are most successful when their vision is shaped from the inside out versus from the outside in. It feels much more authentic and ownable when the approach to design is truly holistic. From the tone of a company’s story, to the visual presentation of prototypes, and even business cards, they’ll tell us how good it felt to show up aligned at investor meetings.”
Keep feature creep in check:
“We’ve been in situations with teams where we challenge them on their idea and ask whether it could perform a certain function, and they will answer, ‘Oh, yeah, it could do that, too.’ Pretty soon the idea has grown 10 new possible scenarios for the user experience and a lack of clarity on the one thing it will do incredibly well. Teams out there need to get engaged with users, build and get feedback on a lot of prototypes, and narrow their idea to the one thing their product will do that no one else’s can, and then be able to say it in a single sentence. In other words, create a clear value proposition—and design the proof of that proposition into the product. For the great new companies of our day, that is very clear—push a button, get a car; rent someone’s apartment like you would a hotel room.”
Know your audiences:
“In an era saturated with early-stage companies that are building convenience-based apps for their peers, Sensassure is working in quite possibly the least sexy and most human centered of spaces—aging and urinary incontinence. Not many 20-somethings are genuinely excited about solving for that but this team was. To better understand their environment, they physically moved into a retirement home for the better part of a year. They learned and considered the entire system, building incredible empathy and trust with their stakeholders, caregivers, and users—elderly adults—along the way. We wanted to work with them for that reason alone. They immediately struck us as an incredibly talented team who were coachable and had endeavored to deeply understand their user in the search to improve their lives.”
Universal design doesn’t mean lowest common denominator:
“A lot of ‘universal design’ has seemed to result in ‘that medical look’ that we all know and probably don’t really love. Putty-colored plastic, blue buttons, rounded corners. In our experience over the years, we’ve seen some really good concepts turn really awful in the pursuit of universal design principles applied ad hoc. It has come to mean, ‘If you see me with this object, I’m sick.’
“Usability is incredibly important, but that shouldn’t mean designing to the lowest common denominator of an experience. And just physical usability doesn’t take into account the emotional experience of an aging person or someone with a medical condition, and how the joy of using an object, or the invisibility of using an object might also be part of the solution. What if eyewear, a common solution for those with impaired vision, were designed with universal design principles?
“If we approached senior care like we approach every other type of design, we allow for the idea that there are many, many different kinds of people out there—many of whom are aging—and they deserve interesting and delightful experiences just like everyone else.”
On the best advice he’s received:
“Jim Yurchenco, who led Ideo’s early engineering team said, ‘Don’t settle for finished in the pursuit of good. Don’t settle for good in the pursuit of excellent.'”
NORIO FUJIKAWA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, AND BRETT LOVELADY, FOUNDER, ASTRO STUDIOS
Astro Studios worked with the startup OBE to develop a wearable virtual reality controller for gaming. Their collaboration yielded a sharp-looking jacket fitted with sensors that translate natural gestures and movements in the physical world to the virtual environment. Below, Norio Fujikawa and Brett Lovelady share their thoughts on designing wearables and for VR—two fast-growing design categories.
When it comes to VR, think about transitions:
“Time and again at Astro, we see amazing technological advancements in VR, but the applications to create total immersion are the most compelling aspects of VR and one of the biggest challenges,” Fujikawa says. “A truly immersive experience allows a user to shut out their real surroundings, to disregard what is happening around them, to transport them to a new virtual space. However, we are still real people once you shut down the system, remove the headset, and put down the controllers. We still have a physical existence outside the imaginary world of the machine. And the setup and transition times between worlds isn’t smooth or optimized yet. VR is currently a device- or technology-driven experience. If VR truly evolves to the next level of interaction it promises to be, the way we interact needs to evolve as well. And this is where OBE comes in.”
User confidence is an essential part of the experience:
“[Designers should] continue to push what we mean by wearable technology and not think of it as just a tool that we strap to our bodies,” says Lovelady. “Beyond the reality of fashion and comfort, people have to feel confident and not foolish for things they apply to their bodies, especially in social or public settings. There’s a reason most people don’t wear Bluetooth earphones—and it’s not the utility or technology, it’s the social stigma.”
Think about seamless utility:
“Most wearables must provide some level of utility to offset the hassle, awkwardness, or redundancy of using them in the first place,” Fujikawa says. “The more seamless, embedded, easy to use and to maintain a wearable, the longer the product will stay relevant and useful.”
On the best advice received:
“Design is point of view applied to enable the hopes and dreams of people, and our job as designers is to ultimately improve the human condition, to be the advocate for people, near and long term,” Lovelady says. “Regarding business, design is not art. It’s a commercial endeavor. So whatever you’re designing, build it to sell it. Otherwise YOU bought it.”
DAN HARDEN, PRESIDENT/CEO/PRINCIPAL DESIGNER, WHIPSAW
Whipsaw consulted with the startup Blumio to develop a wearable blood pressure monitor that uses sensors as opposed to uncomfortable air pressure (like what your doctor uses). Below, Dan Harden dispenses tips on what makes for a strong wearable.
Design for a disappearing act:
“A good wearable product experience is when it just ‘goes away’ because it’s so comfortable you forget it’s on, like your favorite T-shirt. Since wearables are on your body they are fashion statements that speak volumes about who you are, so design is key. If that wearable provides valuable health data, like blood pressure, a meaningful experience is also when it delivers valuable instant information that you can trust and act on.
“Blood pressure is the single best indicator of general health, however blood pressure monitoring devices are cumbersome and uncomfortable. Blumio had conceived of a new type of monitor that used small radar sensors to measure blood pressure instead of the conventional air-pump cuff that squeezes the arm. The biggest design challenge for us was how to configure this new technology into a form factor and usability model that end users would appreciate, and that would define this new product paradigm. Our design solution is a seamless fabric armband that has a pocket at the end, which contains a thin and flexible electronic sensing unit. To separate the electronic unit from the armband for cleaning, the armband strap grommet pulls apart like a snap to access the electronic unit. When Blumio is on you barely notice it, but if you want to show it off, it sure looks cool.”
On the best advice he’s received:
“When I was interning with the renowned designer George Nelson he told me, ‘Don’t design more junk; the world already has enough.’ Hartmut Esslinger of Frog Design often told me in his thick German accent, ‘Just do eet.’ This was before Wieden & Kennedy coined that slogan for Nike, and it was his way of saying don’t overthink things, trust your intuition, and take bold risks.”
SCOT HERBST, PARTNER, HERBST PRODUKT DESIGN
Industrial designer Scot Herbst of Herbst Produkt Design—a consultancy that’s worked with Logitech, the Home Depot, Clorox, Crate & Barrel, and CB2—advised two companies in the 2016 Highway1 class: Calliope, a residential water monitor, and Cocoon Cam, a wellness monitor and camera for babies. Here’s what he thinks all startups should know.
Hunt for potential flaws and iterate after you find them:
“For us it all boils down to this one cardinal rule: Be self critical. Don’t be afraid to question your product or idea. You should constantly be trying to find the holes in your thinking, and the ways your innovation can be simplified. If you don’t find the flaws then investors or customers will. Innovators and designers should be careful not to become so committed to a path or a specific execution that they cloud their judgment. Great innovation is guided by a constant stream of incremental pivots that reflect a fluid thought process.”
Strength comes in numbers:
“Even more important than a great idea is a great team! If you have the right heads on a problem, and the right chemistry, you can’t lose. The power of the group dynamic is so critical to the successful outcome of any idea.”
Don’t design for an oversaturated market:
“Please. Dear God. No more fitness tracking. Just stop the madness. Dare I suggest: If you really want to be healthier, step away from technology.”
Best advice received:
“Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, always says: ‘The smartest person in the room isn’t the one who knows everything . . . it’s the one who knows what he or she doesn’t know.’ I always appreciated that because so much of entrepreneurship is not being afraid to do things yourself and get your hands dirty, but equally important is knowing when it’s time to delegate and defer to others who have deeper skills in some areas. The lone genius is a myth in the product world.”
BRADY FORREST, VP OF HIGHWAY1
Brady Forrest has seen a number of companies come through Highway1 (close to 70 since the accelerator’s first class in 2013). Below he shares advice on how startups can get off the ground.
Ask for feedback early and often:
“Getting customer validation and making sure you are building the right thing is incredibly important. Too often founders have a vision that doesn’t match a customer need. They need to let their initial idea be shaped by customer feedback and usage. Startups need to give their prototype, even at early stages, to others to try. And then they need to accept the user feedback and incorporate it as they iterate on their product. It will ensure they build the right product, and a product that people love to use. I constantly meet founders who are afraid to give their prototype to anyone to try. Waiting until you have a final product to conduct user testing is too late.”
Court the right industrial designer:
“The selection of an industrial designer is incredibly important to the future of your company, because they become a partner in product development. Startups will form relationships with designers and will continue working with them as the product is refined and makes its way to market. The relationship might even carry on to future products.”
Know your goals—and what it will cost to achieve them:
“Our number one goal is to help startups turn their idea into a business and their prototype into a product. A big part of this is figuring out what their key product and business development milestones are and then determining how much funding or revenue they will need to meet them. For the startups to attract investment, they need to show investors a well-developed “looks like, works like” prototype and customer validation or traction.”
Uma família estranha, surpresa é tamanha, são cheios de artimanha, os Adams vem aí!
Quem conseguiu ler a frase a cima sem cantar a música mentalmente e estalar os dedos? Bom, eu pelo menos não consigo. A Família Addams encantou (e assombrou) gerações e mais gerações de fãs. E agora eles ganharam um belo tributo ao último episódio lançado da série original The Addams Family que foi ao ar em 1966, 50 anos atrás. Hugh Scandrett cresceu com a família Addams, adora a série, e fazer construções de LEGO é um de seus hobbies favorites. Então ele decidiu juntar essas duas paixões para construir a mansão dessa excêntrica família, e o resultado ficou de deixar a gente de boca aberta.
O projeto foi publicado no LEGO Ideas, e já ganhou os 10 mil votos necessários, ou seja, tem grandes chance da LEGO vender o produto para o público em geral (e ele ganhar uma porcentagem dos lucros). Hugh conta que levou mais de 5 meses, com várias sessões semanais, para finalizar a mansão. Ele assistiu à série diversas vezes e foi tirando screen shots de toda cena que ele poderia usar como referência.
Iain Glynn inovou ao criar um jeito diferente de apresentar a linha de papeis Sirio Ultra Black para a Fedrigoni. Ele criou uma embalagem com papeis da linha, de diversas gramaturas, dobrados de forma a recriar objetos de estilo e chamou a caixa de “The new black”. Muito criativo e bacana, não acham? Confiram nas imagens abaixo e boa golada inspiradora!
If you were to quantify the sharing economy’s value to society, what would you say? In the United States, the social value of Uber last year was equivalent to giving every resident $20, regardless of whether or not they use the service. In its first four years, Airbnb built an inventory of 600,000 rooms; Hilton took about 23 times longer – 93 years (a saving of more than a lifetime).
The sharing economy refers to economic activity centred around online platforms, based on sharing underused assets or services, for free or for a fee, on a peer-to-peer basis. Cars and bedrooms are the most cited examples, but the sharing economy includes everything from household appliances to land use. Typically, rates are set by the technology platform – the software that links supply to demand – as with ride-sharing services, for example. In some instances, providers can set their own prices – such as with holiday rentals or contract work. In the vast majority of cases, the platform takes a cut of the fee. The seller takes home the rest.
When a government calculates the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of its country, the cost of these exchanges should be included, because GDP is measured as the sum of consumption, investment and government spending (plus exports, minus imports). But there’s a lot of value generated by the sharing economy that is not being fully captured in GDP numbers.
Here are four measures of value in the sharing economy that are not fully accounted for in GDP:
1. Uncounted economic gains
Keynes wrote that “when a man marries his housekeeper, GDP goes down”, referring to the fact that many ‘hidden’ goods and services have a market value. While the insight might be an anachronism, it still tells us something about GDP and how it’s measured – or not. Specifically, it refers to the fact that there is economic activity that contributes to output, but is not counted in GDP. Keynes was talking about household work, such as childcare, gardening and home improvements. These are ‘investments’ that add value, and therefore should contribute to GDP, but they go unrecorded.
The sharing economy produces uncounted economic value in a similar way. Ignoring that there might be some who are not declaring all of their income from sharing platforms, the very nature of the sharing economy means that money is not always exchanged for a good or service. Couch-surfing, for example, is when people stay in other people’s homes while travelling. If this happens for free, there’s an uncounted economic gain taking place.
In theory, this frees up individuals to engage in other parts of the economy. They may use the cash they save to buy other goods, which could boost GDP. In practice, they may just save the money. Either way, there is an economic gain for the individual, even though GDP might not expand. It’s also worth considering that this might accrue in greater proportion to low income consumers, because people are able to consume goods that were previously unaffordable.
2. Better use of environmental resources
The sharing economy has existed a long time – think about lending your neighbour a drill or carpooling. Its rise to prominence has been largely driven by the internet, which enables transaction costs to come down and scale to increase. Technologies such as cloud computing, GPS mapping and social media mean that asset owners are now able to share goods that would otherwise come with significant excess capacity. Cars, for example, are parked 95% of the timeon average. The side effect is that the sharing economy eliminates waste like never before. Instead of your neighbour’s drill, you have access to any household tool you can imagine. Instead of carpooling, there’s a fleet of cars on every corner, available at the push of a button.
It follows that reducing excess capacity will produce an environmental benefit. Fewer resources are required in production: why build another hotel, if you can get people to rent out their rooms? Others have suggested that the sharing economy may prompt consumers to purchase more durable and eco-friendly goods – if they know they can recoup the costs through rentals, they are willing to pay a bit more. Reducing excess capacity is especially important around peak load events, such as the Olympics: cities know they can meet demand at popular times without having to build new infrastructure that would otherwise go underused during ‘normal’ times. GDP doesn’t take into account the environmental impact of consumption or the quality of goods consumed
3. Increased personal well-being
GDP fails to measure social progress, an important indicator of which is wellbeing. It’s difficult to measure well-being, because it extends beyond simple economic measures to include quality of life factors such as social and psychological health. When it comes to the sharing economy, the social components of sharing are not included in calculations of value, but they can contribute hugely to life satisfaction.
Someone who rents a room in their house to a stranger can assign a monetary amount to the transaction, which is reflected in GDP. Similar services allow users to hire locals to learn a skill, show them around an unfamiliar town, or go out to dinner, and the cost of doing so should also show up in GDP figures. But in both these cases, people also derive a social benefit from spending time and interacting with others, and this is not measurable in monetary terms. Individual well-being increases because people simply feel good about sharing, and they enjoy the contact with other people. An economy that has a high amount of social sharing is clearly high in value, but may not be performing as well as traditional economic indicators suggest.
4. Higher option value and consumer surplus
There are two interlinked concepts of value in economics that apply to the sharing economy but cannot be measured by GDP: the option value and consumer surplus.
The option value refers to the value that is placed on people’s willingness to pay to maintain a public asset or service even if there is little or no likelihood of them ever using it. The exact amount people are prepared to pay is based on their uncertainty about the future need for the asset; cost of replacement if it is lost; and non-storability of the asset.
In other words, people are willing to pay to have the ‘option’ to use the product or service at some point, either because they like the safety net it provides (like a cross-city bus service late at night) or because the cost of storing and maintaining it would be too much, or even impossible, on an individual basis (such as a public park). It’s difficult to know what the option value is for sharing economy companies, but arguments exist that it is quite high. Again, this means there is value in the economy that is unaccounted for by GDP.
The second concept is consumer surplus. This is the difference between the price that consumers are willing to pay and the total amount that they actually pay. Part of the consumer surplus is generated by increased supply – more rental accommodation, whether private or commercial, can reduce the average price of a room across the system.
The other part of the surplus comes from making full use of the excess capacity available, as described above. You don’t need more cars to drive down taxi prices if, thanks to ride-sharing, you can increase the number of journeys made with the same cars. A study by the United States’ Transportation Research Board estimates that one shared vehicle replaces at least five privately owned cars. Having fewer ‘wasted’ assets expands supply and drives down prices, which increases both the option value and the consumer surplus. Neither of these value measures is included in GDP.
What to do?
As Diane Coyle has argued: “the sharing economy is blurring the conventional boundary between ‘the economy’ and everyday life; understanding this is vital if governments are to develop policies that enable the economy to grow and people to work and earn as they want to”.
There are clearly benefits that are not captured by GDP alone: wellbeing can improve, the economy can become more efficient, fewer environmental resources are needed, and the overall consumer surplus might go up. But there are also several risks, related to social protection and welfare and corporate tax, most notably. Governments must ensure that everyone benefits from the value created.
Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside fellow psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years, and has discovered patterns in these interactions.
In her new book, “Presence,” Cuddy says that people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence, respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.
Interestingly, Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.
But in fact, warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you.
“From an evolutionary perspective,” Cuddy says, “it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust.”
It makes sense when you consider that in cavemen days it was more important to figure out if your fellow man was going to kill you and steal all your possessions than if he was competent enough to build a good fire.
Cuddy’s new book explores how to feel more confident.Amazon
But while competence is highly valued, Cuddy says that it is evaluated only after trust is established. And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.
She says that MBA interns are often so concerned about coming across as smart and competent that it can lead them to skip social events, not ask for help, and generally come off as unapproachable.
These overachievers are in for a rude awakening when they don’t get a job offer because nobody got to know and trust them as people.
If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat