Company solipsism

1 minute read

In other words, your customers’ relationships with you are the only relationships you have as a business and you think a lot about them. But you’re one of a thousand things your customer thinks about in a week, and one of dozens of businesses. And they probably have their own ideas about how they want to engage with you (though they wouldn’t put it in those words) – assuming they think about you at all. 
— Evans B. (2013) Glass, Home and solipsism

This is a reality that is incredibly difficult to escape for businesses, because it’s deeply rooted in how we live and adapt to the world. It’s a natural thing to perceive the world from one’s own perspective. But this must change.

This change of perspective is the one that founds user-centered design: switching from a company view to a user view of the world. This is one of the many reasons why user-centered approaches are so effective: they help breaking out from the in-group bias.

In Motivational Design the technique I suggested to work around this very specific form of bias is what I called a bit weirdly “circadian activity flow”. It referred to the analysis of all the activities of a person during the day and seeing how the service or brand was fitting inside all of these.

This perspective change is two times difficult because when you think in term of innovation, innovation itself is defined as something that changes behaviours. This means that a company or person usually defends against their own bias by saying “yes, but once they start using it, their behaviour will change”. That’s correct. It happens for innovative things. However, it’s a bet, not a fact. In other terms: only after you are in the position of having changed a behaviour, you can work on what that change implies.