Unnecessary Features Emerge in Products

27 years after purchase, my microwave at home finally stopped working. While I knew that it was time to replace it, the new ones on the market come with a wide range of features and are significantly more expensive due to the current economic situation. Personally, I find that although multifunctionality initially excites me, in the end, I tend to stick to the functions I use most frequently. In this era of inflation, I long for products and services that strike a balance between moderate features and reasonable prices.

While it seems that software like apps and web services follow this trend, occasionally, products are equipped with surprising features that make you wonder, “Is that really necessary?” Take, for example, a few years ago when I purchased a cleaning robot that had a feature allowing it to play music from a USB storage with audio files while cleaning. Honestly, I questioned the necessity of such a function. The appeal of a cleaning robot is that it cleans autonomously when I’m not around, and many people would prefer it to operate when they are away. I wondered what kind of usage scenario they had in mind when incorporating such a feature.

Observing such examples, I sometimes question whether manufacturers truly understand the needs of their users. However, having experienced the process of planning, developing, and releasing a product, I have come to appreciate the various factors that lead to such outcomes.

It is often said that value for users stems from user stories, but there are many instances where ideal circumstances are not met due to various factors.

Let me provide an example. I once participated as a development leader in a project for a dedicated mobile phone for delivery drivers in a certain courier company.

Things were going smoothly until a certain point. We rode along with the drivers in their trucks, accompanied them on deliveries, conducted interviews, and steadily incorporated only the functions that would truly be necessary.

However, at the end of the development phase, a sudden request came from within the company.

The request was to include a feature that would announce the caller’s name through voice while receiving a call when the driver was carrying a package. The idea was that it would be convenient to know who was calling while carrying the package. 

It was a decision that turned out to be a big mistake.

Until then, the functions had been carefully incorporated based on a user-centric approach, user cases, and user stories. But suddenly, this request appeared with different motives. It was an attempt to showcase the latest technology at the time and to differentiate it from other companies. It wasn’t something that had been born from consideration for user needs. 

What were the reasons behind this significant failure?

While one can imagine concerns about personal information leakage with names being announced everywhere, even worse things actually happened. Each driver in that courier company registered the names of the customers in their address books based on their own judgment, often using descriptors that were not the actual names but characteristics of the person, such as “always absent” or “quick to complain.” (just examples)

Furthermore, the drivers unanimously agreed that they were too busy to answer the phone while carrying packages.

During the development process, it became clear that this feature would not be used, but we were in a situation where it was difficult to withdraw it. Moreover, introducing this voice announcement feature led to unintended issues, such as delays in receiving calls for other functions and a silent period before being able to have a conversation after answering the phone. The manufacturer involved in the development faced significant challenges. 

As the leader of the development, I often thought that if we could have convinced them to reconsider from the perspective of providing value to the users, taking into account the development schedule, we could have stopped it.

Value for users can come in both apparent and latent forms. However, whenever forces deviate from the original customer

I mentioned that deviating from the vector of customer-centricity often leads to the creation of strange outcomes.

From an external consulting standpoint, it is common to question why organizations deviate from ideal frameworks and make certain judgments. However, understanding such corporate culture and providing support with that knowledge can potentially earn greater trust from customers.

While contemplating these matters, I decided to take a moment and use my new microwave to try making bread, something I had never attempted before. ^^

Navigating the AI World with EQ

Recently, ChatGPT has become one of the tools I use on a daily basis. While it’s important to discern its usefulness and limitations, as Bill Gates stated, “they aren’t necessarily good at understanding the context for a human’s request,”(*1) it definitely provides a systematic organization of information and significantly reduces the workload in coding. Its interface is particularly outstanding (Am I the only one who finds it difficult to use the moment it’s taken into Bing? ^^;)
Some people view privacy policy as an attempt to find something wrong, but I think it’s important to start experimenting. “To wait to start experimenting is a mistake,” said Ethan Mollick, an associate professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

As technology evolves, the importance of Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) comes to mind. 

EQ was first introduced in 1989 by Dr. Peter Salovey at Yale University and Dr. John Mayer at the University of New Hampshire. Later on, Daniel Goleman, a psychology PhD, popularized the concept with his book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995. Goleman divided EQ into five abilities. I think it can be simplified into two abilities: the ability to deal with one’s own feelings and the interpersonal ability to communicate while dealing with the feelings of others.

For example, if you don’t have the ability to withstand the pressure and stress of work, you won’t be able to move, no matter how great tools you have.
And work is not something that you run from start to finish by yourself.Many people are involved in each process and lead one thing to completion. In order to smoothly and efficiently structure the process involving human intervention, it is necessary to have the ability to create relationships between people, prevent unnecessary friction, and maintain good human relationships. Additionally, one must revitalize the organization and motivate people. To further improve the abilities of those with high IQ, it’s important to secure those with high EQ.
As we hear more often that “jobs will be replaced by AI,” the development of AI naturally renders jobs that rely solely on IQ inadequate. On the other hand, EQ (Emotional Intelligence) contains elements that cannot be substituted by AI. The ability required of future leaders is to bring out others’ expertise, knowledge, networks, ideas, etc. and to promote them while envisioning the future. Therefore, leaders will increasingly require the power of EQ in the future.

Fortunately, while IQ is considered an innate ability, EQ is said to be a learned skill and can be developed by oneself. With the current buzz around technological innovations like ChatGPT and massive layoffs, it is important for both individuals and organizations to re-examine their people-centered approaches and value humanity. 

This is not to say that employees who have been working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic should simply be brought back to the office (^-^)

(*1)Gates Notes : The Age of AI has begun

Is the problem you set appropriate?

Recently, I often hear that my colleagues around me are busy. It’s a story you hear at any time. Personally, I think it’s better to be a little busy than very free, but too busy is also not good.

Busy men usually say they can’t finish a work easily. They think they work appropriately, report to managers, and make proposals to those around them, but they can’t get approval.

I think one thing, is the setting problem right?

I often feel that Some people think a lot about how to solve, but there are not many people that analyze whether the problem you set is appropriate. No matter how much you think it is an appropriate solution for the problem yourself, if the problem you set is wrong in the first place, it does’t make you lead to an appropriate solution. One of reasons, you have a strong linear awareness of issues and do not see things from multiple angles? I often feel.

This is so-called reframing.

Reframing is “to change the way something is expressed or considered” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. Reframing is often explained on Japanese sites as turning weaknesses into strengths. It is the story of the application of reframing to psychology.

I think that Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg’s “The SLOW ELEVATOR PROBLEM” is famous for reframing the problem setting.

referenced from ~ what’s your problem? by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg (Author)

I don’t think the solution to slow elevators is the wrong solution. He also says “These solutions might work”. However it is not best solution. When you solve a hard problem, you have to stop looking for solutions it and you must turn your attention to the problem itself. By doing so, you can get “a much more elegant solution”

Finding the real problem can sometimes be difficult and sometimes requires experience, but I think you can work efficiently by approaching your daily work with this way of thinking.

Let’s begin reframing.

Why provide diverse services?

The Apple Event was held on September 7th.

Smartphones haven’t evolved much (although there are rumors that the addition of functions was intentionally suppressed to keep the price down), but I wanted an Apple Watch that fully supports underwater operation.

When I look around myself, I am completely covered with Apple products. Previously, l used both Windows and Mac as laptop, but only MacBook. There was a time when I used cheap Android smartphones, but now I’m an iPhone only user. Watch is Apple Watch after NIKE Fuel Band and Fitbit. Recently, I’ve been thinking about transferring Evernote to iCloud’s Note, which I feel has a lot of performance and functional deterioration. . .

Looking at such an environment, I remembered the churn rate of mobile.

As you know, over the years, telecom carriers have gone into banking business, electric power business, and other services that are completely unrelated to telecom services. What are your thoughts on that?

One of the main reasons for this is to prevent cancellations. There is actual data that the churn rate is lower for those who subscribe to multiple services.


Doing new business services has the aspect of diversification of management, but have you ever thought that there are services that are not so different from other companies? It’s the same service, but it’s the same company’s service, you can use a common ID, you’ll get more points, and you’ll have one bill. You often use services from the same company.

You used to see a lot of comparison sites for population coverage or communication speeds, but now we don’t see much of those comparison sites. I think it’s a matter of course and it’s no longer a point of differentiation (Although it is very difficult to build network). There is also the aspect that telecommunications carriers provide new services in order to protect their most important telecommunications business.

I once saw a famous person who was active in a certain telecommunications company make a comment that “Communication service companies should concentrate only on their original communication services” I think it is difficult to differentiate with a service that has become obsolete, and it is difficult to innovate. The iPhone has not seen any noticeable evolution these days.

when providing your own services, it may be important to think about Upsell businesses that are linked, not just a single service, but a linked.

Right Person, Right Message, Right Time


日経コンテナサミット2022 DXの開発・運用を迅速化する必須技術



Right Person, Right Message




Right Person, Right Message.


Right Timeについてはまた後日。

にほんブログ村 経営ブログ マネジメントへ

Platform Business with Container

2022年3月1日に「「Red Hat OpenShift 事例セミナーシリーズ 第6回 お客様のコンテナ導入への課題を解決する実践プログラム”Container Adoption Journey”」にて登壇させていただきました。(オンラインなので「登壇」という言葉は適切ではないかもですが)














コンテナ基盤サービスもプラットフォームサービスのひとつとして、そんな課題に向き合うことが多いサービスの一つと考えられます。それらの課題に対してどのように取組み、どのように解決をしていくのか、Red Hatが提案しているContainer Adoption Journey の概要を3月1日「Red Hat OpenShift 事例セミナーシリーズ 第6回 お客様のコンテナ導入への課題を解決する実践プログラム”Container Adoption Journey”」にてご紹介させていただきました。現在、オンデマンドで公開中ですのでご興味がある方は是非ご覧いただければと思います。



Don’t point out, Guide

There is still a lot of communication through online tools, but I often feel that it is difficult for the other person to understand my opinion, probably because communication with only voice or words occupies the majority.

When I look back on myself, I often point out the mistakes of the other person directly. This is wrong, you should fix it like this. It is often shaped like an Objection. If the other person has a flexible way of thinking or is willing to take in the opinions of others, the story will often go smoothly. However if you are confident in your own way or if you get older and you will be selfish, it is often difficult to receive the suggestions of people, including myself.

In such a case, I think it is important not to point out the mistakes of the other party directly, but to show the way and guide the other people to what goal they should go to. If possible, you run in parallel there.

If you point out only a specific part, it is usually only that is corrected. And after all all the points are corrected one by one. By sharing the goals to be pursued, it is possible not only to correct pinpoints, but also to review the entire path for that purpose. For example, if there is an explanatory material for someone, if you take the style of pointing out a part of the slide that is a specific part and correcting it, you have to point out all the parts.

If the other people can be aware of what the purpose of the material is, they can correct various mistakes by themselves.

If you know what you are doing your current job for and why you are doing it, you will make fewer mistakes. If possible, I think it is necessary to guide people to acquire the attitude of searching for a goal and thinking about the way to that goal, rather than simply teaching them about that goal. It will take time, but from a future perspective, It seems to be a long way, and it will be a short way.

Thank you and Good luck on good synergies.

Communication in the age of online meetings

Recently, return to office is gradually starting, but there are still many online meetings, and my there are many online meeting application such as ZOOM, Webex, Teams, and Bluejeans in my laptop.

How often do you turn on the camera at the time of the meeting?

I turn on the camera when talking to people from other companies, but when I talk to coworkers in the my company, I usually turn off the camera. Furthermore many of co-workers around me also turn off the camera. Therefore, there are many times when everyone is silent just by displaying the icon. It’s difficult to read in an atmosphere without returning anything.

As many of you may know, according to the “Mehrabian’s Law” proposed by Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971, The degree of influence of “visual information (Visual)” on people by appearance and gestures such as facial expressions and eyes is 55%. “auditory information (Vocal)” such as voice volume and speaking speed is 38%, and “linguistic information (Verbal)” which is the content of the conversation itself is 7%. It is the “law of 3V”, also known as the “rule of 7-38-55”. 

In other words, recipients are more likely to receive invisible emotions from nonverbal communication. Turning on the camera allows you to tell the recipient more accurately what you want to say. Imagine, If you use a chat tool to convey only the language, you may have the experience of misrepresenting it. Some people say that the camera should be turned on from the viewpoint of etiquette. From the perspective of wanting to convey what you want to say more accurately, or to convey the reaction to the other people’s explanation, it seems more effective to have a meeting with turning on the camera.

As an aside, Mehrabian’s law is based on the question, “What should a person given contradictory information prioritize in judging the emotions and attitudes of the other person?” By no means does it prove that “look is important to people”. Mehrabian himself complains about this, “My research is misunderstood.”

You often see information that extremely explains that facial expressions and speaking styles rather than contents or the content is not very important, but linguistic information plays a major role in conveying information as a major premise. The content that describes what you want to convey is same . I think it is possible to cover a little the insufficiency of the content with speaking. However if your content is insufficient, you may be judged that you’re all talk.

Now that online meetings are the mainstream, in order to convey your message more accurately, you would like to turn on the camera and make effective use of nonverbal communication.

Thank you and good luck on your communication life.

Return to increase loyalty

In January American Tech Giant companies such as Microsoft, Tesla and Apple announced good financial results. Google is about to announce it next week, I’m sure it will have good financial results. The stock price of the US has fallen considerably like a falling knife…

Beginning of the fiscal year for almost all companies is April in Japan, many U.S companies start the fiscal year in January. So Kick-off meeting is also held in January. It is held virtually under COVID-19, but an in-person event before Corona. Each region’s employees gather in one country of the region or all employees gather in the same country which has headquarters. I heard from some stories before, I felt this event cost a lot of money through real experience. Of course a Japanese company held it in Japan.

Kick-off meetings at U.S companies include drink parties, novelty and the smartphone application which is the same as public events. They spend money. On the other hand, Japanese companies are very serious. They have a tendency not to spend money on something that is not directly related to work. I think this difference doesn’t depend on how much profits they make, it depends on company culture or company awareness.

There are pros and cons to which one is better, needless to say I prefer…

One company rents a high grade office building as a workplace. When this company was acquired by a large company, it was said that “Why do you rent such a high cost building? Do you think its cost was wasted?” CEO of acquired company said “It’s necessary to hire excellent employee, they are very interested in not only that our company gives but what kind of environment they can work in”

Many people say, “If the company itself is attractive, the loyalty of employees to the company will increase even if they do not do that.” Of course, needless to say, corporate initiative or your job are more important. However Japanese companies are so serious, and the larger the company, the less return to employees other than salary. For example, I feel that the U.S companies are generally more conscious in terms of education for employees and work environment. In short, I feel a lot of returns other than salary.

There is talk of job-based employment in order to fight in the world, but nowadays I feel that if Japanese companies fight globally, you need to devise ways to increase employee loyalty from that perspective.

If the company goes bankrupt, we’ll get absolutely nothing out of this. 

I hope that COVID-19 goes away soon and you can communicate face-to-face easily.

Thank you and good luck  on your encounter with a company.

More important than employment form ?

Recently, in Japan, Hitachi has announced that it will expand job-type employment and introduce it in earnest, which has become a hot topic. Taking this opportunity, I often see the news which handles the difference between job-type and membership-type work styles.

I will omit the difference between job type and membership type because there is a lot of information from others. When I worked at a Japanese company, I experienced that the company introduced job types to some departments based on the membership type. And I’m working at a foreign-affiliated company which adopts a job type. From my experience,

 I often think that there is something more important than the employment form, and I would like to share two points among them.

Skill set that works

In my opinion, the required skill is like T-shaped or π-shaped skill sets, regardless of membership type or job type.

In the membership type, the job content is considered to be a general job, and it is true that you cannot reject a job under the contract and you have to carry out various things, but my actual experience is that people who are actually active are rarely forced to perform various duties. If you produce output and exert strong power in the work that you want to do, the department wants you, and the department manager also tries to secure you by various means not to hold on. In order to avoid such a situation, companies often introduce a rotation system according to company regulations, but in reality, it is often the case that they return you to the original department after rotation.

In the case of the job type, the duties are limited and it becomes a profession, but I feel that there are not so many members who are recognized for their talents and work only their own limited duties. Except when you can demonstrate your talent, you have your own area of ​​expertise, you have an antenna for other things, and more or less the attitude of supporting the surroundings of your area of ​​work. It goes without saying that they are welcomed by members within the project. For example, in a foreign-affiliated company, employees are sometimes fired with the abolition of the department. But even then, people who have smooth cooperation with other departments are often transferred to other departments and remain.

Although it is said to be a membership type, people who have areas of specialty are strong, and in the job type, people who have an antenna outside of their area of ​​specialty are strong. I think the probability of getting the job they want to do will increase.

Evaluation system

I think that what is more important than this skill is the evaluation system of the company. Differences in membership-type and job-type employment forms are often compared, but it seems that the importance of the evaluation system has not been talked about much.

You usually hear that the rating of the membership type is determined by the length of service, and the job type is determined by the market value of the business. Regardless of whether it is a membership type or a job type, I strongly feel that if a proper evaluation system is not set up, an employment is just a name. For example, like the conventional membership type evaluation, it is not an evaluation system that is clearly understood and not concretely quantified like evaluated from the viewpoint of the boss. I think the worst is the relative evaluation within the company. Even if you achieve 100% of the results,because of members who have achieved more than that, you can not receive 100% evaluation.

In addition, it is often mentioned as a disadvantage that if it is a job type, you will only work your own work and you will not help each other, but it seems that it depends on the evaluation system. For example, establishing a system to help each other would be one of them.

Conversely, even if it is a membership type that has been used for a long time, each department is in silo, there are many departments and employees who can not help the work unless it leads to the number of their own department. Even in the same company, I often couldn’t show the materials from another department because my department is a rival.

Whether it is a job type or a membership type, if the evaluation axis is not correct, the company will not be able to obtain loyalty to the company of employees, and the employees will not be properly evaluated and will leave the company.


I think it’s good to put words first to image, but it’s not easy to immediately change the culture that is rooted in Japanese companies, especially large companies. It is important to understand exactly what the company wants from employees and what kind of evaluation system they have, without being confused by the terms membership type and job type. 

How is it?

Thank you and good luck to your work life.