Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kids these days

'Kids these days' is a pretty popular phrase used by each generation on its next. To be precise each generation used to complain about the next. Now that I am old, seems like I have also picked this up. But in my case I am not complaining, but instead intrigued by the possibilities they present. While we tell others and more than others, we tell ourselves to think different. I am quite fascinated at times how kids think differently without anyone telling them to do so. 

In one case, I asked little Thenmozhi to show me a picture taken earlier on her father's phone. She picked the android phone clicked camera icon on short cut. I was about to repeat and tell her that I don't want her to take a new picture but instead want to see one of her earlier ones.  Before I could say it she clicked on the small picture icon on the left hand corner of camera view and started browsing the old pictures. I realized I have a very constrained and stereotyped world view. For me if I wanted to take a picture I need to go to camera app. If I wanted to browse earlier pics I wanted to either use file browser application or go to photos application. I have trained myself to see a one to one mapping between a function to be performed and an application. There by not seeing the most efficient access method.

The second case was little Dharshika, she so small that she can barely speak still. Someone has given her a toy phone with buttons on it. For a while it was her main toy. But recently she has started to reject it. Reason, she has observed that one of my aunt's have a phone on which she swipes. She has figured out swipe was cooler than keys ( How long did research in motion take to figure it! ) Not stopping at it after a while she walked up to the TV and took a good long swipe at the screen and the adults were not too pleased. I am not sure whether if they already have tvs where you can swipe and is free of all buttons.  But for me it was intriguing,  because on some of these, I have almost resigned to the fact that these stuff are already at optimal designed.

When I thought beyond the debate whether the questions they pose are right or wrong, it opened up an unadulterated perspective on technology.

I felt that those who are building products would have to wake up to a different reality.  It is going to be a different generation.  Growing up with devices and has a different intuitive thinking. To be a winner you will have to convince them.

“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. 
In the expert’s mind there are few" ~ Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sayanthan,

    Great post. This is called as "formative experiences". They are Maturists, baby boomers, generation x, generation y, generation z.

    In communication perspective, Maturists used formal letters, while baby boomers used telephones. generation x used email and text messages while generation y used social media or text and generation z will use any hand held devices.
    Also when we look at signature products, Maturists's signature product is Automobile, television for baby boomers, computers for generation x, smartphones and tablets for geenration y and google glasses and 3d printing for generation z.

    Changes happens and we should also take action for the change. Even in the business world, changes has to be made. The strategies, culture, performance and leadership(which is known change management) has to be changed when the internal and external environments changes happen, or else the business will collapse (which happened for Encyclopedia Company didn't bother to change when wikipedia comes to play in the industry and also in local companies Maliban didn't bother about how Munchee biscuits company comes to play in their niche and take most of the market share Maliban was having in the biscuit industry).