If Design’s No Longer the Killer Differentiator, What Is? – here is an article that seeks to provide an answer:
The article argues that design & technology are sort of done things. What people now want are ways to reconnect with their values. And this is best done through art which raises questions in purveyors’ minds.
I don’t agree with the position that we are now done with design and technology yet. There is a huge scope for both in bringing offerings, that excite and energize people enough, to make them want again and again. The reasons why most organizations haven’t taken to design and technology yet are many -inertia, skepticism, but something much more serious -we humans are not yet sensitive to what others go through when they use various products, services, solutions, or experiences.
Being sensitive and courageous enough to ask questions and let them be asked, to take decisions based on them, and to live continuously on the edge is clearly beyond most of us. We find comfort in living by some code usually handed down to us through some religious practice or an authority or social norms.
Therefore this ‘art’ thing is great idea but it is way way far away into the future.
What we get instead, are products based on some half baked ideas which neither ask questions nor let them be asked. We get products which just seek to soothe our conscience in symbolic ways. Visit a rich person’s house and you will see many such examples.
Conclusion: Design and Technology are not done things yet. Both these provide great differentiation, particularly when they are done together and when they are applied to the whole ecosystem around the offerings.