Primal needs in a digital world


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After my half baked ideas & notes on a collaboration framework in my previous post I published while in a jiffy to get to Hong Kong, I write yet another visceral post that I could not hold in my mind for further contemplation. This one while I am in Hong Kong.

India & China are emerging nations/developing countries that most of the western, educated, industrialised, rich & democratic (WEIRD) countries would have found to be stupid sloths 2 decades back. (I really recommend you read that article I have hyperlinked).

Developing countries like China & India (disclaimer: I am from India & writing this while I am in Hong Kong – which is part of China) have one huge advantage over the developed countries, other than the ever growing educated population that is hell bent on becoming the new middle class (India has none according to some reports, as a matter of fact).

Newer Infrastructure – faster & vaster.

On the other hand (OTOH as internet afficianados would like it), scientists say there is now proof that though city living is great in terms of easy accessibility to stuff we need, it puts a LOT of strain on our minds due to the deluge of inputs our senses receive. The easy way out was to look at greenery & thus they observed that every city needed a green preserve. Like the hill outside of Tokyo. And this means only one thing to me.

Ancient Habitats – green & serene.

(Much like why we find beauty in certain things as per this Darwinian view.)

Ok, so much for the tangential stuff. What relevance to the social customer or business or the relationship between the two does this have?


We now, thanks to the advancements in digital technology (computing, internet, mobility, cloud, etc. for consumption AND production) have much better infrastructure at our disposal. Let it not go unutilized.

  • Where do you think are the better airports? Newark or Dubai? Ok, La Guardia or Hyderabad?
  • Where do you think are faster trains? NYC-Boston Acela express or Beijing-Shanghai PDL?
  • Where do you think are better systems? Intranet or Internet?
  • Which do you think are fastest growing communication mediums? Telephone, Email or Social Media/Networks?

Newer Infrastructure – a convergence of social, cloud & mobile that is more relevant & easier to use. Faster & Vaster.

Does this mean you have to give in to the hype & bow down to the social media marketing/monitoring gurus? I ask you a few questions in return.

  • Has human nature to feel connected ever changed? If you are not sure, please do read the New York Times best seller, Social Intelligence by Daniel Goelman – author of Emotional Intelligence.
  • Has the meaning of business ever changed? If you cannot represent your business in a single diagram, I would suggest you read Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder. That would be the least yet best investment for 2011 or even a great Christmas self gift.
  • Which do you think are the growing trends in customer satisfaction? Customer service or Customer servitude? People can talk all they like about service design, but the nature of servitude, voluntary ones that is, comes by habit &/or culture, from empathy, by awaking our primal instincts to feel part of the tribe, not by design (Design is the next best option though). But then even the understanding of servitude has been clouded by all the emancipation related palpitations. I need to specify that I do not mean involuntary servitude to the customer. If nothing else, please do consider reading this post on the Taj Hotel’s gesture towards its customers, employees & the community during & after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai two years back on what I mean by servitude. Employees laid down their lives to save guests – otherwise known as customers. Will yours? Managers considered the welfare of their guests & staff paramount even in the face of massacre of their family.

Ancient habits & instincts if not the habitats – empathy & the resulting servitude. Green & serene.

So are you ready to embrace the new & yet relearn the ancient, primal nature of humans?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Prem Kumar Aparanji
SCRM Evangelist @ Cognizant. Additional knowledge in BPM, QA, Innovations, Solutions, Offshoring from previous roles as developer, tester, consultant, manager. Interested in FLOSS, Social Media, Social Networks & Rice Writing. Love SF&F books. Blessed with a loving wife & a curious kid. :)


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