Digital 2013: Keynote 5 Digital Opportunities, Digital Mindsets

How to get valuable services to market

Digital is a big word, with big connotations, not to
mention several meanings. First of all, John will
look at what is really meant by ‘digital’, the major
opportunities it affords, some aspects we should
steer clear of. There’s also some golden rules for
digital services – what to focus on, what not to get
distracted by, how to frame services that are going to
be meaningful and valuable. And then there’s how to
deliver digital services and get them to market, in a way
that ensures we meet our objectives and learn as we go.

Speaker: John Oswald, Business Design Lead at Fjord 

Twitter: @Guehenno



(The below are Tim’s notes from Digital 2013.  They have been posted during the session and will be tidied up later – more Digital 2013 here)

You can also see John Oswald’s slides and a video of this presentation at the bottom of this blog post.


Fjord is a service design company “we ship meaningful …experiences”

John started asking by “what is digital?”.  It means different things to different people. Interactive advertising, apps, social commerce, gaming? Nobody really knows what it is but we do know when it is done badly as shown by a number of John’s entertaining examples.  We also know when it is done very well.

It can be simple, useful, life saving, beautiful or intriguing. But we don’t really know what it is.

What’s important is the service, we should be thinking about creating services for people.

It is vital to remember why we are doing this, and more importantly who we are doing this for.

Complexity is part of life. Context is also too. “I’m not a segment, I move from place to place, I meet with different people blah, blah”. Digital has to adpat to this complexity – make too much noise and you’ll get shut out.

A simple tool for creatign value:  input > idea > impact

  • input – trends (e.g. austerity), technology opportunities, brand (what does your brand stand for), insight (data and talking to people)
  • idea – come up with a concept and try it out.
  • impact – society, cash, relationships

John sees “digital” as a mindset.

Agile is part of it. Agile is hard to do well. Recommeded reading:

  • lean start up
  • inspired – product development
  • reality check – “stop you talking shyte about it!”

Don’t just focus on money or one single area. Equally if you focus on lots of things at once you will get confused. John recommeded cohort analysis to keep the ship steady (as seen in lean start up)

Rules of thumb:

  • human experiences resonate loudest (meet need of real people)
  • simple solutions last longer (think cafetiere rather than nespresso)
  • stick to your principles
  • innovation isnt just about creativity, business model change etc
  • test
  • measure, iterate
  • great services need great teams

Digital is a tangent, creating great services is the answer.



Digital 2013, John Oswald, Fjord from Interactive Scotland

Digital 2013 – John Oswald, Fjord – Digital opportunities, Digital Mindsets: How to get valuable services to market from Interactive Scotland on Vimeo.

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