Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You have to love some clients

How many of you have experienced something like this before?

Many thanks to Helen Thomas for sending me the link. Share/Bookmark

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I've been replaced by an iPhone App

A funny article I came upon which was posted last April. Went under my Google alerts radar until now. Share/Bookmark

Giving something back

Here is an elegant, simple, engaging and rewarding app to download. It's free and it has inspired the latest piece of functionality to be added to the EthOS app in a few weeks time.

What I love about this app is that it tells you something genuinely new about yourself as an incentive for helping the LSE with a research project exploring... happiness.

I have been using it for a week now and it alerts me to login and answer some basic questions about my mood, mode and emotional state. I can then view a set of graphs and charts which, with each input, create an increasingly reliable picture of where, when and with whom I feel the happiest.

It was a client who first told me about it. And what impressed him, as has impressed me, is how it keeps people engaged for weeks. The reward being the feedback you cannot get any other way.

A long story now cut short; we are adding similar functionality to our EthOS app. Only users will be able to configure it to help understand any state of mind. For example, if you are conducting a snacking study, an interesting range might be, 'very hungry' to 'very full', on a sliding scale. And after a few dozen entries, the user will be able to see the locations, times of day and activities which made them feel hungry.

The challenge is to keep it simple while allowing analysts to view aggregates from hundreds if not thousands of respondents.

Please stay tuned for more on this in the near future.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creativity - a quick guide

I find writing to be an amazingly creative process. I can be watching the most tedious clip in the world which has not one event for me to hang my hat up on and deconstruct. As a last resort I'll start writing about it. Writing abut how nothing is happening and what that 'nothing' is. Then something extraordinary always happens. A kind of creative floodgate opens and I keep writing and capturing. Before I know it, I have three paragraphs of thoughts to distill.

Collaborations is also very powerful when it comes to creative output. But not always practical.

Here is a helpful article I found somewhere on how to unlock or unblock your creative juices. A must read.


The RFP's I hate the most are the ones which dictate a methodology and a sample size. With no opportunity to challenge or question. Do you know what I do with such briefs? I delete them.

Qualitative research briefs are completely different from observational/ethnographic research briefs. And when we receive them we have to go through them with fine tooth combs. We then reply explaining that many of their objectives can be answered with simple interview questions or through discussion groups. Why do they want to observe? At this point we either lose a prospect or gain a long term client.

Did I ever tell you what a Vodafone client said to me once after we had spent weeks filming young people in Italy?

"Why did we send you there to film something we could have found out by simply asking the question?" This happened 12 years ago. And she was absolutely right. Drop me an email and I will tell you what it was that we filmed.

There are also situations when objectives need to be interpreted. Why does the client want to find answers to these questions? How will respondents interpret these questions? Have a look at some work TNS did in India.