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Why can’t anthroplogists lead companies to an iphone?

July 11, 2007

Nokia and Microsoft now have armies of anthroplogists scouring the globe for insight into how people communicate and use technology.

“As an ethnographer for Microsoft,
Donna Flynn uses her training as a Ph.D. in archeology to analyze how
ordinary folks from London to Beijing make daily use of their
cellphones.

She feeds results of her field studies to two
dozen designers, engineers and strategists toiling in an unusual
research lab on the Microsoft campus. Awkwardly dubbed the Mobile and
Embedded Devices Experience design center, or MEDX, it is where
Microsoft plots strategies to sell souped-up cellphones that act a lot
like PCs.”

USA Today

Despite all the collective wisdom and intelligence of these armies,they haven’t inspired their designers to create anything as captivating as Apple’s iPhone.

Is it because they are looking at what is, rather than imagining what could be?

Posted by Ed Cotton

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