Oct 29, 2012

Who would solve my customer problem - portable music device for running

I have problem with current music players. Most of the music on the go is listened in smart phones. These smart phones are getting bigger and bigger on display size. At the same time music is going to monthly payment mode where you can always listen all the latest music.

I'm really happy on both of the trends at their own, but these create a problem for me when put together. I would like to listen music while running and smart phones are too big to carry with. On the other smart phones are the only platform where you can get your monthly music with you.

Old iPod shuffle is by far the best music device for running ever made. There's this easy clip on, it weigths nothing and it's easy to use with single clicks. Perfect for any sports and sports wear.

Here's a challenge for some hardware product company. Create a device which can hold for example 200-500 songs from Spotify or some other monthly based music service. Create it to be small enough for small pockets in running wear. Make sure there is a large enough button to change songs when it is in the pocket. And keep it simple.

I can guarantee there will be many sports people who will buy it.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

P.s If this device exists already, please hire a proper product manager and marketing people to let the running audience to know about it.

Oct 15, 2012

Book review: The Gifts of Imperfection

Latest book I read was The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. It was at the same time one of the hardest and easiest books I've read for a long time. It was easy and enjoyable to read, but the subjects did hit hard sometimes.

The book is about soft values, about love, life and wholehearted living. It might sound as nonsense, but it's actually supported with lots of scientific material. Also Brene Brown herself has Ph.D and is a research professor at university. So these soft values has lots and lots of backup material to support the story.

The whole idea of the book is that admitting to be imperfect, makes life much more enjoyable. It talks about subject as busyness, shame, being uncool, being vulnerable and many more. The subject did hit me straight many times. I do too often feel shame and think what others think of me. I even felt shame reading this book in the train. It has a heart on its cover and many hearts in pages. It might sound stupid, but I caught myself thinking what others might think of me reading a book filled with hearts.

This is actually what the book is about. It's about authenticity and having the guts to be who you really are. People nowadays try to fit in so much, that they are not enjoying living their lives.

Luckily I did found somethings similar to my thinking at the book. One of the key messages in the book was that in order to really love others, you need to love yourself first. And not in a cocky way. I do agree this fully, but I'll let the book to explain the details, for not putting words to Brene's mouth. It is a subject many might think differently.

It is an excellent book, which I believe too few guys have the courage to read. It talks so much about the soft values and being vulnerable, that it is hard to read. I did enjoy it a lot and try to become stronger by agreeing on being imperfect. This is a good read for everyone, but I believe it's too difficult for the people who don't have their hearts at list bit open for being vulnerable. 

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 13, 2012

Don't listen to your customer, watch them

One of the best advices, for creating great products and services, I've heard is: "Don't listen to your customers, watch them". Asking people what they want or would prefer often gives irrelevant answers. When watching how people behave, there can be noticed patterns, that will tell how they would like things to work. Their verbal answers might tell a different story.

Watching people's behavior will guide to the sources of what people really are missing. It's quite common to say different things than actually do. People try to be smarter than they really are and try to give creative answers to the question about how would they like things to work. Watching the behavior, is for that reason, more important than just listening.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 8, 2012

Book review - The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture

Some of the readers of this blog might hope this book is about Agile SW development, but it is not. The Agile Gene is book from Matt Ridley about genetics, evolution and how people are people. It starts form really early in first studies about human and behaviors. It tells a full journey to the latest genetics researches.

The main question in the book is the long lasting debate on nature, meaning the DNA and inherited things and nurture, the things that environment effects on people. It goes trough studies from both sides and digs deep in to the main pillars of the both explanations.

One by one it starts to get more obvious that there is no one explanation on this question. Nature plays it part on growing, but nurture also has a big effect on many things. The most surprising there is that genes actually work with environment to make things possible. So those are not only enablers or disablers, but can adjust to the environment.

I have to admit the book was quite hard to follow sometimes. It went such deeply to some of the scientific subjects, that it would have required some more basic understanding of genetics to follow fully. Still mainly it was fun and interesting to read. Matt Ridley knows how to write in very interesting form.

Reading the book I had to change my mind many times. On some points I was sure that genes are the main influencer of what we turn out to be, but then after some tens of pages I again thought that environment is the important thing. I can't remember a book that have mixed my head more during reading the book than this was. That said in a good way.

I recommend this book to those who are interested on psychology, genetics or evolution. It requires interest towards those subject, otherways it becomes too technical to read. I enjoyed it a lot. It goes to the one of the best books I've read this year.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 4, 2012

We Are Not Responsible For Lost Or Stolen Valuables - Why?

Lobbies of so many companies have the sign "We Are Not Responsible For Any Lost Or Stolen Valuables" next to their coat rack. It has always bothered me. I'm coming to visit your company, and you ask me to leave my jacket and stuff here. Then you state that no, we will not make sure it will be safe here.

So what if a company would actually take the responsibility of the jackets and stuff. I know the lawyers would say, that it's too much of a risk to take the responsibility of property of others. Is it really? For me that would actually state that this company is different and can be trusted. It would be an act of kindness and trustfulness to take care of my jacket and stuff while I'm visiting there.

For so many companies, the risk is actually such a minimal, that it would really have any financial effect whatsoever to company's result.

Why companies couldn't think differently and be kind? Why every company always need to cover their backs for everything? Why every company needs to be made from the same mold?

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen