More photos are being taken than ever before, but Kodak went bankrupt. More movies are being watched than ever before but Blockbuster went bankrupt. More books are being purchased than ever before, but Borders went bankrupt. Why is Pandora and Spotify so popular? Why are Google Search Advertising, LinkedIn and Facebook making so much money on advertising when the traditional media and publishing companies struggle?
Kodak had the opportunity to compete in digital photography, digital photo apps and Instagram type social networking sites - but they didn't. Why? It's a mindset thing.
Blockbuster had the opportunity to compete in video rentals online, streaming movies/TV shows and setting up social sharing sites like Vimeo, Vine, YouTube, etc. - but they didn't. Why? It's a mindset thing.
Blackberry couldn't imagine that users would prefer a larger screen to a physical keyboard. They thought mobile devices should be reserved for work. They couldn't imagine a mobile device as a computer or as an entertainment center. They couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that people would want to browse the Internet using a mobile device. Why? It's a mindset thing.
The term Code Halos refers to another mindset. Here is a definition from my colleagues at The Center for the Future of Work, "Today’s outliers in revenue growth and value creation are winning with a new set of rules. They are dominating by managing the information that surrounds people, organizations, processes and products — what we call Code Halos™." Did you catch that? They are dominating by "managing the information that surrounds people, organizations, processes and products." This is the revenge of the data scientists!
Let's talk about Google. Google has a very simple UI (user interface), but behind the scenes they are geniuses when it comes to managing the information that surrounds people, organizations, processes and products. Pandora gives us great music, that we want to listen to, based on information that surrounds us. Amazon recommends books and movies based upon information that surrounds us and products we have chosen in the past. They give us an amazingly simple one-click purchasing processes and free shipping based on membership and account information about us. This experience is addicting.
Google also treats by blog articles differently. A person new to blogging could copy a blog article of mine and post it on their site. It would not, however, be treated the same by Google. Google knows I started blogging in 2006, have over 2,700 articles published mostly on the topics of enterprise mobility and digital transformation and close to 4 million page views in the past 5 years. They give me a higher "Author Ranking" than a new blogger. They use all of their collected information to build algorithms to find meaning-making through all the noise on the Internet. They want to provide the best search results possible for their users.
I get treated differently by Delta, Hertz and Marriott based upon my loyalty, frequent use and past business with them. I am spoiled and will do silly things to maintain this treatment. They treat me different, not because of me, but because of the information about me.
In today's world, successful companies will use mobile apps, websites, big data analysis, the Internet of Things and other kinds of GPS tracking solutions, videos, photos, historic preferences and social networking information as sensors to collect information, analyze and find meaning. Meaning-making is how companies learn how to attract you, keep you and treat you right.
I read an article yesterday, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/02/when-you-fall-in-love-this-is-what-facebook-sees/283865/, that describes how Facebook can recognize relationship patterns of people falling in love and entering a serious relationship. It was an article capitalizing on Valentine's Day sensitivities. They can then target particular ads that align with these patterns. That might seem a big creepy, but when companies do this in the right manner, it just seems thoughtful. For example, when I land at a connecting airport and turn my iPhone on, I appreciate the Delta app telling me the terminal and gate location of my next flight. It understands I am traveling, my location, my scheduled flights and gives me context aware information. It uses the sensors (GPS), my activities, my schedule and my reservation to assist me. That is a winning formula.
Is your company adopting a "Code Halo" mindset?
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.