Thesis feedback…

I thought I would publish the feedback I’ve been getting from Lee Feldman from Blast Radius, a canadian born web company. He is part of the group of people who I am actively informing on my thesis process which includes Colin Burns, ex-head of IDEO London with whom i had the pleasure of working with this summer at the Design Council, then Jonathan Chapman author of “Emotionally Sustainable Design and founder of Safe house creative.

So here’s Lee’s take on my thesis that he sent out this week.

The first is/was/continues to be the interesting reality of Peak Oil
(,( The second
is status/reputation systems, the third is networking and gaming as social
collaboration and prototyping tool, the fourth is Japan, or perhaps more
precisely, Tokyo.

Peak Oil is the “scare tactic” that might drive a lot of usage pattern
change. does a nice job of suggesting new living
patterns based on more community and communal living post-oil crash.
Wal-Mart relies on cheap oil to get its cheaply made products to market.
What happens when oil is no longer cheap? Will the Wal-Mart model fail, and
increasingly local markets, based on coopetition, re-emerge?

Status and reputation systems, specifically networked, are creating a
“semi-non hierarchical” meritocracy and putting more power into the
hands of consumers. Web 2.0 ( is extending the system
from pure consumptive environments like Amazon, to bloggers, podcasters
etc…So every individual has an opportunity to express themselves, and be
open to rating, criticism in a democratic market of ideas- beautiful.

What if we could extend the reputation system, starting on a voluntary
basis, to peoples’ actual consumption footprint?
( Can we replace “bling”
with “fling?” fling being the temporary usage of something, rather than
the full-blown ownership of the thing ( Can fling be
a new reputation based on sharing? How can status be conveyed? How can
it be “branded” so that fling becomes the more desirable?

What if we could make a game out of this? The game requires community based
teams to collaborate on web/social network based services aimed at
maximizing resource usage. The game environment might be a habbo-like space
( that resembles your neighborhood so that you can
configure your ‘hood and and start iterating and prototyping service
designs. Key data is entered and an AI system, based on known behaviours can
run simulations (the sims). All totally possible now ! Combine it with the
reputation system, combine it with real usage……

Japan…post-post industrial, people living full lives in tiny spaces. They
CANNOT accumulate stuff, so they seek out quality, craft, or become otaku
and focus on collecting. The problem in Japan is not overconsumption it is
hyperconsumption. No second hand market for electronics, cars BUT huge
market for vintage clothing. Why? The homogeneity/individuality paradox.
CRAFT is the way young Japanese who do not want to be salarymen or office
ladies express their individuality. ( Produce AND
consume (Prosume) precious things.

SONY or Panasonic will reinvent consumer electronics to be
reusable/upgrade-able (like Toyota making 100% recyclable cars), and/or
create precious objects that become collectible…Sony needs help
right now…

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Founder of designswarm & the Good Night Lamp. Ex CEO of Tinker London, Head of Bulb Labs till May 2019.

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