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Monday, June 4, 2007

Synergy of Business = Design + Technology + Marketing Strategy

You have seen many PowerPoint presentations that speak of the power of the successful business treo: design, technology and strategy. It usually goes like this:

  1. A circle appears, representing design.
  2. Another circle appears, representing technology.
  3. Yet another circle appears, representing strategy.
  4. These circle overlaps one another, looking like an RGB mixing diagram.
  5. Drum rolls... and the presenter talks about the importance of being at the center where all three circles overlap.

This presentation bores so many to tears that it doesn't see the light of day very often these days. It also neglects the reality that being at the dead center is not really what matters (the result), rather, it is the constant balance among the three groups that matters most (the process by which to achieve equilibrium):

  • design + technology / strategy
  • technology + strategy / design
  • strategy + design / technology

It is an important business idea, however, and I propose that the wordings be changed from the What to the Why. When you show the ROI first, people generally listen more intently:

  • Usability = Design
  • Longevity = Technology
  • Commercial Value = Strategy

When you wish to back it up with examples, instead of picking a single product to demonstrate the effect, pick all of them. Show your audience how the same formula applies to all products and services that wish to be successful in the market place. It is especially true if you wish to reap the benefits from the power of cult branding: from Apple to Linux, from Harley-Davidson to Volkswagen, from the World Wrestling Entertainment to Oprah Winfrey.

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