Emphasis on device-charging; outsourcing customer service to customers
BLUE SKY ORIGINALS: http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/chi-big-ideas-2015-howard-tullman-1871-bsi-story.html
Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871
Tullman divided the Big Ideas question into two categories: products and services.
This may be the year that battery makers solve the problem of lightweight long-lasting batteries. If it isn’t, the growing array of technology that relies on battery power will be in trouble, Tullman said.
Manufacturers of wearable devices are finding that users abandon them quickly if battery recharging is problematic, Tullman said. One option may be refinement of kinetic charging devices that use motion to generate power.
“We could create portable chargers and we’ll be in a position where this stuff never goes out of style,” he said.
As for services, Tullman sees companies continuing their effort to delegate more service tasks to customers themselves.
“We’re only beginning to understand how much of the work of every transaction is going to be imposed on the customer,” he said. “If they do it right, we really appreciate it. If they do it wrong, we get very frustrated.”
Tullman said Amazon is “way on top of this” and suggested that consumers will move toward automating their regular, commodity-type purchases — soap, detergent, etc. — which will change the way in-store retail outlets look.