For what it’s worth, I’ve been trading comments on the Design Sojourn blog on… well… it started off as a discussion on developing devices that worked with Web 2.0 (recall my earlier post on that – reLink). The discussion has since expanded into something quite a bit larger: the convergence of bits and atoms. Here are some pieces from my comments that might be of interest:
The *reason* for bringing up Nike is … because Nike is indicating a sensitivity and sensibility regarding Web 2.0 that I believe is forward-thinking and relevant. They have been and continue to initiate efforts to understand emerging technologies and harness them… and all they really do is make shoes!
… most of the products we design will be given away for free; just the way that toasters are handed out when people open bank accounts. There was once a time when electric toasters were highly valued. Now they’re not. Think about it: Tangible goods of lesser value than intangible Service.
Once you recognize that Service is simply migrating to Web 2.0 functionality, I think you’ll recognize that the only thing actually different is the rate of change in our general Awareness and the inability for businesses built on a separation between the “real” and the “virtual” to deal with these changes, because the Perceived Value of Tangible things has been dropping for years. Only back then it was controlled by Business institutions.
If you want to read the full conversation (still in progress), head over to the entry titled “The Future State of a Product’s Existence?” (Link).