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The Experience Economy and Other Thoughts from SXSW

Intouch Team

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Nate Silver at SXSW

It’s been a busy week at SXSW, and I think the entire crew here has churned through more battery life, tracked more steps, geeked out, had more philosophical debates, and slept less than we had expected. Working with four different devices (smartphone, iPad, iPad mini, and laptop), I feel like I’ve had a crash course on multitasking and multi-devicing during my days in Austin. But, on to more of the big ideas I’ve heard and bigger questions for us all to ponder.

Think bigger, but try to start small

Great ideas are great, but they should have some sort of foundation to really take off, or to prove that we should adapt them for other purposes. Big data gives us so much more information than we had previously, but we need to do something with it and try not to be distracted by the vast number of outliers that can muddle the potentially smaller in quantity but consistent truth. If a bigger idea starts with an insight, we should research and iterate before pushing it out to the larger world, something I’ve heard in both UX and tech startup conversations.

The economy is shifting from a material to an experience economy

Moss and Stropkay at SXSW

Value sets are changing so that we no longer dream of owning "things," but of having great experiences. At the intersection of this is the brand providing both the things and the experiences that come along with them. In healthcare especially, we should consider the actual experience we are providing consumers from a services perspective, because that, outside of a need for certain products, differentiates a brand. Just as consumers have shifted from dreaming of owning a specific car just to have the car and instead to have the experience of driving that car (think luxury goods here), the expectations of a greater experience will eventually shift to healthcare.

What is the appropriate balance between breadth and depth?

With the Internet, we now have access to many resources that were once difficult to access - we’ve all done searches with hundreds of thousands, if not more, results. Now, with models like Amazon, we see more personalization and recommendations based on our habits. And with the amount of data available on an individual or set of consumers, we have many customization opportunities. But if we continue to move to this personalization/customization model, are we limiting ourselves from being exposed to the breadth of information? How will that change the way we search, or learn new information? If I’m a patient only exposed to one community or a few sites or resources, how will that change the way I perceive or manage my condition?

Put the audience first

How many times have we heard this? And yet it still comes up as a need in nearly every single session and panel? This is a question for everyone, because, while it may not always hold true, at what point do we become susceptible to "forgetting" the audience? How can we, or do we, fix this? Is this really still an issue?

See our previous post, or check out #intouchsxsw2013 for more thoughts from the team!


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