In an age of disruption or we grasp the essence of the trends that are transforming Society and Market, or ruinous strategies are developed.
Today we make the mistake of relying on an obsolete mindset to try to understand how our Society will develop in the near future.
Because of this we imagine future “science fiction” scenarios, characterized by “futuristic” products, with hyper-tech performances, which are in fact unsustainable (they are not feasible, if we take into account the actual costs of the product – in a era in which we are looking for sustainability, affordability – and the social costs).
This obsolete mindset was created by the current Marketing, which up until now has used this “Vision” to propagate an attractive image of the company that favors purchasing strategies based on an emotional basis (and to access public funding for innovation, which with the recession are no longer available to the same extent as before).
In recent decades, Marketing has been oriented towards “inventing” purchase reasons for products that offer an almost non-existent useful value for Customers (that is Marketing, instead of interpreting Demand, the end for which it was born, in the last decades it has created a Demand).
The problem is that now, in a phase of recession (which seems to be the norm), this mindset produces ruinous results.
That is, the problem of the Market crisis lies in following points:
● THE FUTURE SCENARIOS (THE TRENDS) CAN NOT BE UNDERSTOOD BY USING MINDSET OBSOLETE (the current one).
The fact is that when analyzing an innovation scenario it is necessary to be able to guess what the next future will be.
Innovating means improving people’s quality of life. In order to frame innovation correctly, it is therefore necessary to realize what the needs of people (and the Society) will be in the near future. That is, it is about being able to project new products in a different scenario from the current one (in the case of a disruption phase like the current one, it is a very different scenario).
On the other hand, if one imagines inserting the innovated products into a “as is now” scenario, one is not able to make a rational prediction: one can at most develop a narration (as in science fiction novels, where a future is envisaged, in which the horse-drawn carts fly – see J. Verne).
● TECHNOLOGIES ARE NOT A KEY POINT OF INNOVATION.
Technological innovation is indeed a linear innovation, therefore in conflict with a disruptive evolution of products (better technologies are not able, in itself, to satisfy the real, urgent, needs of the new Demand).
To be able to induce the Consumer to buy new products it is necessary to develop a new Value-utility based on Low-tech technologies (consumer technologies). <see “Value-oriented innovation new Value proposition“ // “Disruptive innovation is not based on technologies“ // “The role of technologies in innovation“>
● TRENDS CAN NOT BE INCLUDED WITH AN ANALYSIS OF NUMBERS, but only through imaginative intuition.
This is due to the fact that the trends develop in a non-linear context: that is, in a complex scenario in which the development of the Trend depends on the interaction with other factors also in continuous development introduces into the analysis a number of variables impossible to considering it in a rational logic based on numbers.
● WE PROSPECT “FUTURIST” SCENARIOS, FROM SCIENCE FICTION, AND THEREFORE UNSUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS.
This happens precisely because the mindset used to understand the evolution of the Market is obsolete, and leads to imagine the near future as the result of a linear evolution of current products.
The products imagined in this way are unsustainable due to the fact that they are not able to satisfy the new Demand; and for other objective problems:
● a further evolution of the technologies is not appropriate neither to the Producers, nor to the Consumers, since
– on the one hand it entails unsustainable costs: both for the Producers and for the Consumers (up to now these costs have been justified by the arguments of Marketing that relies on the emotional level of the status symbol, but these costs, in the current phase of recession, become a fatal problem).
– and at the same time concentrating the business on the development of hi-tech products leads it to adopt a mindset incompatible with a disruptive approach. That is not able to produce the Value required by the New Demand: a Value-utility that allows the Consumer to effectively meet its needs (the products based on the low tech – the consumer technologies – today are able to develop a value-profit higher than that of hi-tech based products).
● the products imagined in these futurist scenarios are intrinsically unsustainable – in fact unattainable – due to the lack of their connection with the actual reality. In this case it is in fact used that “creative imagination” used up to now to propagate emotional contexts “dream” in order to sell products without real useful value.
The problem of this type of mindset “free” from objective constraints is that it can not work when it comes to imagining real future scenarios. The products displayed in these scenarios are in fact not designed in function of the real sustainability of the technologies that are expected to be adopted; nor in their interaction with the contexts in which they must be inserted.