Thursday, November 26, 2009

Multiverse and idea bubbles

Yesterday I joined Idean 10 years party in Helsinki. Idean is user centric design company which has come a long way with user interface design and ideation work within last 10 years. As a company Idean delivers also an interesting story of entrepreneurship. In the beginning of their path, they had good mix of will, luck or coincidence and trust (from seed funder) to get things going even if they hadn't a clear image what the direction would be. This was actually one of the idea bubbles (see below) I found inspiring and something I will take further.

Idean was kind and generous enough to invite Joseph Pine to give a talk at the event. Joseph Pine is famous for The Experience Economy book he wrote together with James Gilmore in 1999. He gave the same presentation in Amsterdam earlier this year so check out the video & slides if you are interested to know more about multiverse.

Besides writing books Joseph Pine is consulting and spurring executives around the world. In Finland he is working at least with Elisa (telecom), Lapland tourism and Lappset (playgound equipment for kids). In his presentation he summarized his previous three books [to put it short: ] and focused on multiverse discussion which will be described in detail in his next book.

Pine referred to Stan Davis who coined term “mass customization” in his book “Future Perfect“ and started playing with theory of existence (universe). That space and time are forms of existence in the real world and matter its substance. He picked up a word "no-matter" from Stan Davis' book and started from there. If there is no-matter there must be no-time and no-space as well, right? Well.... Anyway. he managed to define no-space = virtual and no-matter = bits but no-time is a bit trickier one. Pine talked about some sort of continuum (past-present-future). I was thinking merely multitasking and mixing real time and asynchronous communication to add "flexibility" to time in some sense. Basically he illustrated the dichotomy or duality between real and virtual as well as various "forms" within virtual and real.

I find it rather complex model to describe that there is real and virtual and various technical solutions enable hybrids such as augmented reality. Maybe hybrid reality would be enough? But of course Mr. Pine's model is one ideal or sort of framework and a way of thinking. So maybe I am too practical here. The presentation inspired questions regarding the role of a man in this multiverse, persistence and noise regarding to service design and experience or user-generated content and the definition of authenticity. Pine & Gilmore wrote a book about that: what authenticity means to the postmodern consumer, and how companies can render their offerings as “really real.”.

Even though I didn't get that much out of the presentation it is always good to exercise your brains and listen to different speakers. Even if the message would not shake you that much there is always some idea bubbles or red ribbons to be combined what whatever you and working on at the moment. I am very much thinking of experience of gamers at the moment and playfulness on the Internet in more general sense.

So besides being inspired by coincidences related to startup's, I also met cool people at the party, got some alternative views of what makes online gamers tick and got a couple of good but random ideas :) Now it is up to me to refine them further with the help of red ribbons, idea bubbles, insights and thoughts.