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Framework of thinking about feasibility

ygolo

My termites win
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5,996
Thinking about feasibility is a part of Design Thinking, and other similar models for creating long lasting solutions to problems. It is abstracted in mathematics as a way of constraining optimization problems. It is talked about in Project Management.

These days, especially in the technology sector, ignoring feasibility seems better to get funding, win contests, get recognition, and otherwise gain resources. There is a lot of hopium in the air.

Part of the reason for this is that there is a tacit assumption that we can figure things out ...eventually. There is also a thought that since technology is progressing so fast, and since science and tech folk are always building and improving, things become more feasible over time, so other risks are more important.

I would like to put forward the concept that feasibility can never be spoken independent of the resources and time-frame we are talking about. Given unlimited time and unlimited resources, anything that isn't mathematically or physically impossible seems feasible. If you want something developed in a fraction of a second, anything other than a twitch, reflex, or something of that order is not feasible for a single human. There is also Bill Gates' observation that “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

I want to make this more precise. Depending on whatever we are doing, some understanding of feasibility plays a role. Silicon Valley's "Fake it till you make it" culture that brought you the likes of Theranos, the Fyre Festival, and even old school things like Waterfall Development where feasibility becomes a craps-shoot for the tiny fraction of the model called "testing" which only happens after "implementation" and lead to things like the initial fiasco of healthcare.gov. Now the modern buzzword of agile which proved to have much higher success rates are turning into less and less feasible things as well, with vaporware, and false promises of technology once again on the rise.

A "technologist" often no longer needs to have a grounding in engineering or science. They may nominally come from these worlds sometimes. But their promotion rates and general career successes are buoyed by a steady stream of making promises that can't be delivered (but they won't be around for that part).

As someone who loves technology and would like to see it help humanity, I find this trend of rewarding hype and discounting substance very detrimental.
 

ygolo

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Rather relevant to this is the notion of innovation theater:






There is so much contradictory information there, it will make your head spin.

What is clear to me is that innovation theater exists, and that there are a lot of things that are horrible non-existent fantasy/sci-fi projects that take up a lot of resources that could be better allocated elsewhere.

With that said, what is sci-fi to one person can seem real to another. The proof of the pudding is in the eating...or in this case a partial prototype.
 

ygolo

My termites win
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Aug 6, 2007
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5,996

It is interesting to see a marketing article use phrases like, "Go for substance over flash"

tl;dr table
TacticExampleWhy it FailsWhat Works
Scarcity"Only 20 units left." "For the first hundred callers."Consumers recognize false claims of scarcity. They share manipulation when they catch a lie.Be honest about the actual scarcity. Consumers trust authenticity.
Celebrity EndorsementsMichael Vick for Nike or Carrot Top for 1-800-CALL-ATTCelebrities can be unpredictable and may not be relevant to the product, potentially alienating consumers.Use endorsements from industry experts for substance over flash.
Social Proof (Testimonials)Fake testimonials or deleting negative feedbackConsumers are skeptical and check multiple review sources.Use authentic testimonials at critical decision-making points.
ComparisonBefore and after pictures, fake frontline pricingConsumers are wise to false promises in exaggerated comparisons.Show value over cost; benefit to the customer should exceed the financial cost.
PrimingHarley Davidson’s “American by birth. Rebel by choice.”If priming creates false expectations or meaningless biases, consumers will see through it.Back up your claims. Make sure your product or service meets the expectations set in your marketing.
ExclusivityRewards clubs with little valueCustomers look for tangible benefits, not just the illusion of being part of an exclusive group.Offer real, unique benefits and exclusive offers to loyal customers.
Use of NameThe Publisher Clearing House letter starting with Dear (Insert Name Here)Illusion of a connection isn't enough, customers want a real connection.Remember and use the customer's name, but also offer the best in value and service.
RepetitionFrequent marketing blitzes like Coke and PepsiName recognition alone isn’t enough due to easy consumer review and publicization.Wow every customer. Each one has the potential to be a word-of-mouth evangelist.
 

The Cat

Just a Magic Cat who hangs out at the Crossroads.
Staff member
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Messages
23,666

It is interesting to see a marketing article use phrases like, "Go for substance over flash"

tl;dr table
TacticExampleWhy it FailsWhat Works
Scarcity"Only 20 units left." "For the first hundred callers."Consumers recognize false claims of scarcity. They share manipulation when they catch a lie.Be honest about the actual scarcity. Consumers trust authenticity.
Celebrity EndorsementsMichael Vick for Nike or Carrot Top for 1-800-CALL-ATTCelebrities can be unpredictable and may not be relevant to the product, potentially alienating consumers.Use endorsements from industry experts for substance over flash.
Social Proof (Testimonials)Fake testimonials or deleting negative feedbackConsumers are skeptical and check multiple review sources.Use authentic testimonials at critical decision-making points.
ComparisonBefore and after pictures, fake frontline pricingConsumers are wise to false promises in exaggerated comparisons.Show value over cost; benefit to the customer should exceed the financial cost.
PrimingHarley Davidson’s “American by birth. Rebel by choice.”If priming creates false expectations or meaningless biases, consumers will see through it.Back up your claims. Make sure your product or service meets the expectations set in your marketing.
ExclusivityRewards clubs with little valueCustomers look for tangible benefits, not just the illusion of being part of an exclusive group.Offer real, unique benefits and exclusive offers to loyal customers.
Use of NameThe Publisher Clearing House letter starting with Dear (Insert Name Here)Illusion of a connection isn't enough, customers want a real connection.Remember and use the customer's name, but also offer the best in value and service.
RepetitionFrequent marketing blitzes like Coke and PepsiName recognition alone isn’t enough due to easy consumer review and publicization.Wow every customer. Each one has the potential to be a word-of-mouth evangelist.
I didnt realize we were at this part of the pendulum again.

As long as people are needful...
As long as the profit for one outnumbers the cost for someone else.
The pendulum will keep swinging.
Lower.
And Lower.
Until it gets stuck in something.

Something for Something. All Things in Equal Measure.​
 

ygolo

My termites win
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
5,996
I didnt realize we were at this part of the pendulum again.

As long as people are needful...
As long as the profit for one outnumbers the cost for someone else.
The pendulum will keep swinging.
Lower.
And Lower.
Until it gets stuck in something.

Something for Something. All Things in Equal Measure.​
What's the alternative?
 

The Cat

Just a Magic Cat who hangs out at the Crossroads.
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
23,666
What's the alternative?
I'd love to live in a society that wasnt built and runs on only marketing research and being needful. But a lot of people are really committed to the lie that this is the only way.
 

SensEye

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May 10, 2007
Messages
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INTp
It is interesting to see a marketing article use phrases like, "Go for substance over flash"
Interesting, but they don't provide any examples of substance over flash success stories. There are probably a few out there, but they are outnumbered by flash over substance many times over.

Coincidentally, I just recently read an article about some guy (or class action group) suing a number of fast food companies for misleading advertising by making the food in their ads look far more appealing than it actually is. The article had some photos from ads vs actual products purchased which made it quite obvious, as any consumer could already tell you. We are simply conditioned for fast food products to be a pale imitation of what they look like in ads. Flash over substance all day every day seems to be marketing standard procedure.

Also, many of those things they say don't work, are still very prevalent. I would argue this is due to those tactics still being very effective (i.e. celebrity spokespeople are still very common, there is now a whole industry involved in providing fake positive reviews (social proof), priming/slogans are everywhere, exclusivity is still a very big seller).

I'll give repetition special attention, as one Donald Trump has used repetition to fool half the country (the election was stolen!) It's very effective. It might be easy for 'consumers' to check false claims out for themselves, but they don't seem to care to do so.
 

ygolo

My termites win
Joined
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Messages
5,996
I'd love to live in a society that wasnt built and runs on only marketing research and being needful. But a lot of people are really committed to the lie that this is the only way.
I would love it too. But more precisely. How would that work? How do people get resources? How do people get their needs fulfilled?
 

The Cat

Just a Magic Cat who hangs out at the Crossroads.
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I would love it too. But more precisely. How would that work? How do people get resources? How do people get their needs fulfilled?
It would work differently. They would have to communicate. Via community networking. Society could still work. It would just work sans predatory consumerism. Jobs and careers and hobbies and shit can still exist. It just comes down to reframing the "marketing" focus from greed is good, greed is nessesary, greed is life to people helping people. Get rid of artificial scarcity, get rid the fear incentives for not playing the captiol game.

The culture mindset focus has to change from crab bucket thunderdome and become something focused on actual life rather than private income.
 

ygolo

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The Cat

Just a Magic Cat who hangs out at the Crossroads.
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Well hello there.
*Smiles showing sharp teeth and then blows out the match*
*The sounds of a monster eating echo from the darkness*​
 

ygolo

My termites win
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5,996
I mentioned a phenomenon in different ways and different places.

It's oversimplified for sure, but I'll characterize this phenomenon the economy only working for the needs of the rich and powerful.

Nominally, the claims by many economists are that:
1) when a need arises, people find ways to fill that need and new firms arise
2) producers and consumers reach a point where we allocate resources the "best" we can

But two things happen:
1) It is easier for new firms to be viable filling the needs of the rich and powerful than the poor and powerless
2) The rich and powerful, even the ones who care deeply about the poor and powerless, are blind to those needs.

One example to illustrate the phenomenon: People in the USA complain about healthcare all the time. Costs are one big complaint. Poor care is another. If you scratch below the surface a little bit, a lot of it is rooted in improper communication between healthcare providers and patients. This supposedly a solved problem with Epic eloctronic health system.

The complaints about Epic abound.
From providers:
https://www.reddit.com/r/medicine/comments/15zajjm
Most patients won't realize it's Epic

How often have you had an appointment where you waited an hour to see doctors for 10 minutes, for which half the time they spend fiddling with their computers?

How often then, when you get reports, it's hard to get straight answers through the messaging system?

Organically, people I talk to aren't satisfied with the system.

That is until you talk to someone who has the power and could change things. Suddenly, the narrative switches. Suddenly, the tone of frustration expressed by almost everyone else turns into satisfaction. They're getting quick, satisfactory, and even proactive responses.

Guess which patients the providers are prioritizing in responding to?

The incentives in the system are to respond to patients with simpler problems, better-formed messages, and could possibly get on the phone with your boss.

Where does that leave the less educated patients, struggling badly with complex issues, and have no power to make your stressful job even worse?
 
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