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IoT and data

This week we get to think about the detailed nuances of data – what we need to collect, what we need to analyze, what we need to predict.

In thinking through all the different types of analysis we could or might want to do — I keep thinking about how closely clothes and what we wear are tied to our group and individual identity. Does it become a way to “find our tribe” or “become a new person”?

As I reflect upon how we change, grow and develop – I think more about the work of Vygotsky and the “zone of proximal development” or what I simply call his aspirational notion of how we develop by reaching slightly beyond oursleves. Which also links to Csikszentmihalyi’s notion of “flow” and how we are at our best when we have just enough challenge.

Click, click, click — not sure where this is all taking me….

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IoT – Personas and user needs

So this latest week has been on a familiar topic – personas. It’s been fun thinking though what types of personas might use our product. We pivoted from a B2B solution to a B2C solution — helping people organize their out-of-control closets.cluttered closet

The Personas are fun – Fashionista, Shoe collector, Ms. McKinsey, Down-sizer, Mr. Hoodie, Ms. Yoga pants. Then the people “below the fold” — like the CMO, bloggers, etc. People that are a part of your “ecosystem”. Like that expanded definition of persona.

It’s also been useful to think about personas in terms of their goals and needs – why do people come to your product and what to they need to do? Forces through a thinking of the psychology of people who say they want to organize their closets

My insights this week:

  • Thinking about user needs is hard to do — getting real data is key. Started reading Lean Customer Development.
  • Personas extend beyond the end-user and include internal customers as well as those in your ecosystem
  • You have to walk through the IOT stack to figure out the user needs at each part of the stack
  • Concept of a MVP (minimally viable product) is both new and familiar
IoT technology stack

IoT technology stack – image courtesy of Daniel Elizalde

Hacking Momma project continues — she fell in her bedroom again trying to do something she shouldn’t. Gotta get moving on this sooner rather than later!

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IoT and the beginner’s mind

After a fair amount of navel gazing in previous months, I’ve now moved on.  I’m taking a class at Stanford Continuing Education called Product Management and the Internet of Things (IoT). Yes, IoT is my new exploration. Am I a Product Manager? No. Am I an engineer? No.  But I get to be a beginner again — and that Beginner’s Mind is what I seek.

What problem do I want to solve? I like to call this project “Hacking Momma.” Basically I want to be able to help my mother live independently. So that means making sure she doesn’t burn down the house by accidentally leaving the stove on. That means knowing when she’s fallen, and letting her call someone she knows for help (dad, brothers, neighbors, me…) using a wearable device (yes, I know there’s competition in this area). It would be good to know how often she get’s up at night and when. It would also be cool to monitor her heart rate, blood sugar level, and other vitals. So this can easily get a bit creepy — monitoring another human being. But it’s also kind of useful for those who need support. Still wrangling with the ethics of that one. Starting simple is key — like with the stove.

However, that’s momentarily on the back-burner as the class requires teams who are interested in a certain area (like Wearables) to form and work through the IoT processes as defined by our Stanford Lecturer. Well, a fashion industry idea won out over my elderly idea. That’s okay because it’s not about solving my problem, or even about creating a cool new product — it’s about defining a problem and going through the IoT stack and related thinking process to create a blueprint. Any problem will do in this regard.

So here we go. Into the (relatively) unknown world of IoT.

A couple things I’ve learned so far:

  • IoT is really about synthesizing a whole bunch of different, existing technologies into a coherent “solution” that solves a particular problem
  • I’m good at those intangibles of being part of a team — defining problems (which is half the battle of using new technology) and GSD (getting stuff done) which comes from being a deadline-driven consultant.

Now if I could only figure out how to fix this damn website – those embeds are not behaving.

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