John Maeda
John Maeda: Technologist and product experience leader that bridges business, engineering, design via working inclusively. Happily working at Everbridge☁️ :+).
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In the spring of 1993, my experiences as a hardware and software engineer collided with the art world as an installation in Kyoto benefitting from the educational direction of edutech pioneer Nobuyuki Ueda. Having worked for too long in the abstract world of electricity and cyberspace, I hungered to see it made real, in order to understand it better. Thus was born the Human Powered Computer Experiment, which was “performed” by Dr. Ueda’s graduate students in a two-day long workshop where human beings embodied the working components of a computer.

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At the time computers still had disk drives, so the entire system started up by turning on a power switch, and then placing a giant cardboard disk into a slot through a partition. On one side of the divider sat the computer user; the other half was for the human-powered computation to happen. The performance area spanned two floors of empty space so that visitors could view what was occurring on both sides at the same time. …


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If you’d like to see the 2021 CX Report, please upvote it.

Normally I send out my CX Briefings via Mailchimp, but I changed phones and didn’t keep my authenticator app settings so I am temporarily locked out. So I decided to get this #CX Briefing briefing out by Medium instead :+).

👋 Hi there, I’ve been out of touch since I started my new role at Everbridge — working at a totally different level of the tech stack has been a new level of “a-ha” for me. I’ll still be doing my annual CX Report — built upon the early Design in Tech Reports — if I get enough votes on SXSW Panel Picker. If you would like to see it happen in 2021, please upvote it and I’ll get to it if there’s demand out there. Thank you!

Four Things That I’m Thinking About CX

  • Since the 2020 CX Report, I’ve centered around the complex organizational ownership issues that lie in the separation between the “buyer experience” (pre-purchase) and the “customer experience” (post-purchase).
  • The buyer experience — aka traditional “Marketing” — has an extremely high cycle time while having benefited the most from advances in computational tooling and associated AI/ML ahead of any other part of an organization. …


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When I’m asked to explain the basic foundations of speaking machine, I turn to David Bowie as my go-to example. I posit that if he were born a decade or so later, one of the big tech companies would have been run by Bowie.

To true Bowie fans out there, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really discover Bowie until he passed away in 2016 — so instead I’ve been lucky to get to do a lot of catching up over the last five years.

There are two video interviews with Bowie where his power to speak both machine and human are in stunning view. One happened in the 80s, during a conversation with a rising media startup called “MTV”. In the interview, Bowie criticized MTV for excluding Black artists. (At the time, it did.) The other occurred over a decade later, when Bowie was interviewed by the BBC. He described the Internet in terms that can be eerily recognized today in 2020. Rather than reading about these videos, it’s best to go off and experience them at the source. …


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Digital handwriting set in the amazing “Liebeheide” by typographer Ulrike Rausch

Long before the pandemic, I learned about “remote work” in Silicon Valley and I felt like it could be the future. That was five years ago, and I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

At the time, Automattic was the largest tech company operating fully remote, or more precisely “fully distributed,” and my good fortune led me to joining Matt Mullenweg’s prescient organization. As the pandemic has worn on, I have found that many of the “new” WFH tips that get shared today were pioneered long ago by Automattic. Things like the difference between the politics of a workforce that is partially distributed versus 100% distributed — the latter being the more effective option. And the fact that “asynchronous” unmonitored working is better than three-hour “synchronous” Zoom calls where showing presence is a requirement — but the former requires a great deal of trust that most bosses aren’t willing to easily extend. …


It’s easy to take up space as a leader. It’s also easy to make space as a leader.

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“Make Room: Move aside or move something aside to allow someone to enter or pass or to clear space for something.” — definition via Oxford Dictionary

Context of now: Especially given the recent news of the Breonna Taylor decision, I believe that listening to the next generation of leaders is critical today for people of my generation and above. The world we once lived in where excluding others based upon their differences was the default and accepted practice—is something that will need to materially change. If more senior leaders actively make room for more underrepresented voices, businesses will more responsibly manage their transformation during this 4th Industrial Revolution. The world is watching.

When I joined Publicis Sapient, Fast Company ran a story about how I joined to help established companies compete in their digital transformation journey. If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, and also as was the topic of my book How To Speak Machine, the Big Tech companies have an outsized amount of power. To spend a year with my partners and colleagues across every industry vertical working with some of the biggest names in the world on the trendy topic of “digital business transformation” — I can see that we all have our work cut out for us to compete against Big Tech. …


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Via Bloomberg Technology May 8, 2020

Sponsored by The Earth
Computational Experiences
Are Made By Those Who
Know How To Speak Machine

#cxreport20

Watch The 2020 CX Report In 13½ Minutes

If your customer experience feels like your org chart, that means you’re successfully running at scale. As a business (and as a human), the more important thing is to consider the implications of “the other CX”: Computational Experiences. They’re powered by Moore’s Law, they’re made by the few who know how to speak machine, and as humanity accelerates towards a “Kardashev 5” scale of digital transformation we should be both excited and terrified.

This version is a super-condensed summary of the CX Report. You can watch the 82-minute extended version delivered LIVE over here. …


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Cover art direction by Quinnton Harris

The CX Report will gather trends related to how business happens through computational experiences. It began as five years of the “Design in Tech Report” and its scope is being broadened to cover the larger surface of digital business transformation activities happening around the world.

Opportunity

There’s a 12-question survey that closes on March 18, 2020. If you participate there’s an option to put your name into the final report.

👉 Be a part of the CX Report

Schedule

March 19: Part 1 of the CX Report centering around Distributed (“Remote”) Work will be released. …


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Also available on my WordPress site over here.

September 2019 #CX Briefing

If you’d like to get my monthly #CX Briefing sign up here to get it in your inbox first.

Four Things That I’m Thinking About CX

  • The word “design” is a curious one because it’s a known word to C-suite executives, client service folks, industry analysts, front-end developers, back-end developers, empowered product managers, disempowered product managers, management consultants, brand strategists, agile project managers, and also the folks who call themselves “designers.”
  • There’s a varying degree of importance ascribed to the word “design” because, like all words, it means something different depending upon who is using the word and *when* it’s being used in the process of creating value for a customer, client, user, patient, constituent, buyer, seller, and any of the organizational roles I mentioned just above. …


If you’d like to get my monthly #CX Briefing sign up here to get it in your inbox first. And for a non-walled WP link to this content, go here.

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I left the Media Lab in 2008 after originally trailing the career path of Muriel Cooper and then later being inspired by “The Audacity of Hope.” It was on the heels of my beginning to wonder about how higher-education worked, and also seeing how industry was fusing design and technology in a whole new way. I wanted to get to the heart of how design exists in the world — and then found myself in the heart of the technology industry in Silicon Valley somehow. Along the way, I’ve noticed how much ethics and inclusion increasingly matter — I hope to bring that energy deeper into the CX universe.

Four Things That I’m Thinking About CX

* The word “design” is a curious one because it’s a known word to C-suite executives, client service folks, industry analysts, front-end developers, back-end developers, empowered product managers, disempowered product managers, management consultants, brand strategists, agile project managers, and also the folks who call themselves “designers.”

* There’s a varying degree of importance ascribed to the word “design” because, like all words, it means something different depending upon who is using the word and *when* it’s being used in the process of creating value for a customer, client, user, patient, constituent, buyer, seller, and any of the organizational roles I mentioned just above. …


If you’d like to get my monthly #CX Briefing sign up here to get it in your inbox first. And for a non-walled WP link to this content, go here.

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From a series of images I made in 2004 out of Tostitos corn chips (holiday edition).

Four Things That I’m Thinking About CX

* The difference between CX and design is useful to ponder because it helps to separate outcome from process.

* There are experiences that can be wholly crafted by a lone professional designer like with a one-off poster or chair.

* But for projects that are more complex than a lamp, a product will get made with and by many non-designers on their way to market.

* When professional designers are less involved, it’s easy to create “bad design.” But it can still be considered good CX. …

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