(Originally published during CES 2018) — This week much of the technological, digital, and electronics world has descended on Las Vegas, Nevada for #CES2018. On the gee-whiz-o-meter, CES is off the charts. This is where you want to be if you want to touch, feel, and experience the not-too-distant future…right now. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality,Augmented Reality, driverless cars, robotics, and more — these are just a few of the technological delights that will be demoed around and on the CES showroom floor.
But this year’s CES will also likely be remembered as a kind of coming-out party for the technology that will drive much of the future — 5G. One CNET reporter summed it up this way: “CES 2018 is where you’ll start caring about 5G.” If you’re in the mobile and wireless space, you already care about 5G. But the lens this reporter is looking through in my view is a wider consumer lens which makes sense given the venue is CES.
Bringing the consumer into the 5G discussion before 5G begins to make mainstream inroads over the next 5 or so years is a good thing. 5G is the next generation of mobile and wireless after 4G and 4G LTE. But 5G holds the promise of being much more than sequential. It holds the promise of being exponential because of its much faster speeds and far more advanced reliability.
One of the great business challenges is to keep the consumer at the center of 5G’s development at a time when we’re easily mesmerized by its technological possibilities. The discipline that can help ensure that the consumer is in the center of the technological mix is business storytelling.
One of the great business challenges is to keep the consumer at the center of 5G’s development at a time when we’re easily mesmerized by its technological possibilities.Business storytelling at its best reminds us that product development and story development go hand-in-hand.
You don’t develop products and services first and then ask, “what story do we want to tell?” The story is “baked in” as authors Alex Bogusky and John Winsor put it so well in their book by the same title.You don’t develop products and services first and then ask, “what story do we want to tell?”Business storytelling recognizes that the use of data and analytics to understand your customer in a demographic, segmented way — while important — can only take you so far.
Business storytelling enables you to stand in the shoes of your customer, so that you can walk around in your customer’s world, look at things from their vantage point, and provide remedies and solutions that address their pain points. This is how and where business storytelling sits at the intersection of economics and empathy.This is how and where business storytelling sits at the intersection of economics and empathy.Companies that can bake their storytelling into their products and services at the beginning and not the end will have a competitive advantage. If you want to have a competitive advantage on steroids, harness the power of empathy as well.
As in years past, when it comes to game-changing innovation, what happens in Vegas at CES won’t stay in Vegas for long. Stuff’s too cool! The focus on keeping the customer at the center of 5G technology can’t stay in Vegas either.Business storytelling has an opportunity to ensure that consumers and technology are joined at the hip long after CES 2018 closes.The world will get its first sneak peek at 5G technology in action next month at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Those companies that will ultimately win the gold in 5G will keep their eyes on the real prize: making a difference in the daily lives of their consumers, customers, and stakeholders through technological innovation.The best way to do that is to begin with the end user, whether it’s storytelling development or product development. The discipline best-suited to the challenge is business storytelling.