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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“Digitalization” minus “Digitization” equals “tali”

My best performing piece on Medium is “How I learned what “digital transformation” truly means after waving 👋 to a couple Gs”. In that post, I discuss how the words “digitization” and “digitalization” have completely different meanings. I couldn’t figure out why this was the case. It turns out it’s the dictionary’s fault.


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It all started with a cheesequest …

I’ve never been a cheese fan, but in the days before COVID-19 I had the opportunity to visit France, home to some of the best cheeses in the world. So I did my best to adapt and tried all kinds of cheeses while I was there.


Stick figure with perpendicular vector field for hair
Stick figure with perpendicular vector field for hair
Drawing a perpendicular field of vectors is quite trivial when rendered as computer code.

I have straight hair. Extremely straight, spiky hair. It’s super rigid. And because of its rigidity, it sticks up on its own when it’s cut short.


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Hello, world! (2021) John Maeda

It’s never easy to figure out what will happen in a new year, but according to what Google’s incognito mode says to me when I search “trends for 2021,” I need to care about tech trends, home decor trends, fashion trends, and food trends to start.

Tech

  • Safe convening technologies to regain physical intimacy after the vaccine happens.
  • “3+2” hybrid work week: 3 Work From Work (WFW) days + 2 WFH.
  • Like the disruptive commercial force of the iPhone, C-19’s impact will be lasting. …


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It’s just the difference of two letters, but it’s a whole different universe.

I just finished my class at MIT Sloan on digital transformation. Not teaching it, of course. Taking it.


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My rendition of the last fried chicken dinner my father made for me.

Ever since COVID-19 landed, it’s become impossible for me to fly across the country to visit my mom and dad. On the one hand, my mom is always easy to connect with via regular text messages and calls. On the other, ever since my dad had a stroke he’s never been the same. We’re totally out of touch.


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A few iterations of “playing” Conway’s Game of Life from How To Speak Machine

Back in 1985, I took my first computer science course at MIT. We had spent the whole term discussing concepts borne completely in text, numbers, and punctuation marks.


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When I was first starting to formally study design in the late 80s, I came across a book at the MIT Press bookstore with the weighty title, “Theory and Design in the First Machine Age,” written by the architectural critic Reyner Banham.


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

👋 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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