Special Libraries Association keynote: Mike Walsh #sla2013 @mikewalsh

Mike Walsh, author of “Futuretainment” and consultant/trendspotter

All Indonesian internet traffic goes through 50 cm 2 of tangled wires. One guy runs it.

How will you engage with the next generation of info users?

Your customer is not a moron, she’s your wife. — Ogilvy.

Walsh says they’re your kids. “The most disruptive force in the universe is sitting in your living room.”

2007: iPhone comes out. A world where the internet is always in your pocket.

Ask teenagers if they’d give up their cars or their phones.

Indonesia: Do you use the Internet? No. Do you use Facebook? Yes. It’s a button on their phones, so they don’t realize it’s on the internet.

Biggest influence on kids is video games. Is this a bad thing? Google recruits people who play video games: leadership skills.

Smartest kid in the class may not be the smartest any more. All 30 kids in the room have Google on smartphone. But who can use Google Graph? Who can tell a good Wikipedia article from a bad one? In other words, the 21st century librarian.

If your kids had your job, what would they do differently?

In Argentina, a bottle on the roof of a car indicates it’s for sale. Where are the water bottles in your business?

Jevon’s Paradox: Does technology progress decrease or increase the use of the thing it is meant to replace?

We know more people through the internet, so we’re actually doing more travel to meet with them.

People “working from home” are actually working other places, such as places with free wifi. What is it about your office that people don’t want to be there? A bank reversed the ratio of desks to social spaces.

French CEO banned e-mail. You’d get paranoid. You wouldn’t know what was happening. CEO believes good e-mails get lost in the system and bad e-mails are destructive.

Are you ready to re-write the corporate code?

Consider setting up an internal social network. (Don’t get IT to do it; they’ll just use it as an excuse to talk Elvish.)

If you were to map the network patterns of your best people, how closely would it map to the org. chart?

People in China used washing machines to wash vegetables. Company decided to make it a better vegetable washer!

If you want to know how people use your products, go out of lab and into the field. Intel has a staff of anthropologists.

What is something your customers do that drives you crazy and ask yourself what you can do to use that?

Imagine a world where the police knew you going to commit a crime before you did it? NYPD hired data scientists to look for patterns and direct patrol officers.

Amazon serves 50 pct of traffic to site with new font, button, etc. and tests whether new or old design works best.

If we can map everything our customers do, we have all the information we need to make good decisions. [My thought: That’s great for finding out what existing customers want, but what about non-customers/prospective customers/future customers? How do we find out what we can do for them?]

British guys buy boil-in-bag curry and DVD for date nights. Online video company promoting to those people.

Target predicting who’s going to get pregnant. Target sent diaper ads to a 17-yr-old before her father knew she was pregnant.

Data will be the most valuable asset. Build a virtual data war room with a dashboard for the CEO. What is one big data insight you could provide that would make your CEO sit up and spill his coffee.


Next Gen: If your kids had your job, what is one thing they would do differently?

Latency: If you were to map the network patterns of your best people, would they match your official org chart and titles?

Shanzhai: What is something that your customers do today that drives you crazy, that might actually be turned into a new opportunity?

Big Data: What is one big data insight that would make your CEO sit up quick enough to spill his coffee?

Sign up for his mailing list: www.mike-walsh.com/go

Updated to add: You can get the slides if you sign up at the link above.


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