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Thursday, September 28

Go Episodic - Conceptoids and Factoids

Had written a post sometime back on what we can learn from tea bag marketing! Revisiting the theme of smaller SKUs of thought!

As planners( time starved & stretched) who routinely handle tons of data, information and tasks, our ability to do fundamanetal enquiries into consumers and other stuff gets heavily constrained!

Sometime back, I discovered a small trick of storing thoughts which I call conceptoids. These are essentially 3-5 slides of thoughtlets around a brand problem, a consumer insight, an observation from the media landscape, learning from the fringe, etc. They do not demand the time or the rigour of a full scale presentation or analysis. Yet are immensely useful later. I have a collection of about 100 conceptoids developed over a 2 year period!

In the last 40 days of active blogging, have realised that blogs are another way of concepting! Stray thoughts that earlier withered away now get stored. Often amplified by others' comments. Many a time become fodder for presentations. Or lead to other ideas. Other thought destinations!

As knowledge workers/ planners - conceptoids, factoids( bytes of information about the consumer or brand which shed an interesting light/ tell something new)and other smaller SKUs of thinking are very important to navigate through the info-glut.

The latest Economist issue says even gaming has realised the importance of episodic extensions rather than full scale ver2.0s. As a rule of thumb, when content in a game doubles, four times the intial resources are needed. So, the new trend seems to be game add-ons, which cost a fraction in time and money of a totally new game version and can be bought through micro payments!

Conceptoids help me sample more thoughts, keep a track of new learning, and generally stay afloat and sane among all the giga bytes of new information and content! Any similar experiences of new thoughtware for our times?

9 comments:

meraj said...

in my dreamer ways i always used to think about a device or a contraption which fits into your head and records your thoughts (something like a TIVO for mind), which one can go back to later. with the way things are moving in the field of biotechnology, this device may not be far away....but until then we have to come up with innovative techniques to do so...something ala 'conceptoids'

in fact, just going back to the world of serious art (not commercial), writers, poets moviemakers have always maintained some method or the other to store ideas. some examples:
- kurt vonnegaut (writer of the famous war satire, slaughterhouse no.5 and other great books and short stories) always had a small diary to note down the iea for his next work, which he would find from everyday life
- mirza ghalib, the great urdu poet had a very innovative way...he used to tie knots in ropes to remember the couplets he would come up with
- satyajit ray always though of movie ideas in the form of illustrated storyboards which of corse, he use to doodle

just treat them as examples mr sinha and dont try to read more than that :)

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pooja nair said...

Having been fortunate enough to experience manish's very own concept of knowledge storage, i can vouch for the fact that devicing coceptoids and factoids is absolutely enjoyable and turns out to be more useful than you expect!!!

pooR_Planner said...

Meraj...Future is here ...MIT is working on a mind amplifying device, a chip based on Nano Technology which can be implanted in the human brain. This chip can read and store active zones of the human mind at different time of the day. The data can be retrieved to map the brain and eventually draw a path to the root thought. Using 3D visualization graphics it can be expressed, too.
Cognitive Neuroscience has made enormous progress and brain mapping is a reality. Infact, different methods of Cogni are being used as a consumer research tool and well documented by HBS.

The question that lingers on my mind is whether Humanoids will become a reality within the next 10 years???

pooR_Planner said...

Manish, hope am not streching your Conceptoids Idea too much. Was reading about humanoids. Meraj's Mind Tivo got me thinking. Repliee Q1 is the first female humanoid from the Univ of Osaka which, is all set to replace working maids ... probably in the next 10 years the entire BPO inustry can be replaced by them...err...fringe thoughts ... ;-)

meraj said...

thanks for enlightening me on the subject. for a poor planner you seem to be tracking a lot of things :) death of BPO is a scary thought for the 3rd world. but am sure some other stuff will come up by then.

thanks again!

Manish said...

Roop, i like the fringe thoughts! but let me clarify. storage is just one aspect of conceptoids. the bigger benefit( till the planner humanoids come and take away our jobs) is in thinking and concepting! as an individual I can think better with pen and paper around and with loads of stimulus( books, magazines, movies...) often we do not know the value of our own thoughts and this is where I have found conceptoids very useful! Plug-to-play later!

pooR_Planner said...

Manish, that's the best part of a planner. No Humaniod or super computer can replcae us ... oops ...yes ... carry a pencil and a piece of paper always in ma pocket, comes handy all the time. Free time goes in keeping a stock of conceptoids (wont you welcome me to the gang) ... indded very useful to plug and play.

harshal said...

Possibly a non sequitur, but you might want to see How Nintendo developed the new Wii

Episodic stuff really works to further the general idea of engagment - (we've gone through this before, haven't we?)
But looked at from the engineering perspective, it's frankly v. important to be able to think in a modular fashion.

Heck, sometimes i think that a more accurate description for a lot of what we do (for a living) is building blocks, more than calling it "jamming"

Ah, anyhow - my 2 bits for a lazy Monday..