Experience, Not Effects

Jan 11, 2010
Avatar (2009 film)
Image via Wikipedia

I finally got around to watching Avatar today, the 3-D, IMAX version of it. It was an interesting show, the plot definitely has a bit too many similarities to Pocohantas for my liking (as many have pointed out). I liked the mini-satirical messages in it, though.

That’s not what I want to write about, though. What struck me the most about Avatar was the 3-D. And it struck me the most actually because it didn’t stand out. In most 3-D movies, the fact that it’s 3-D is extremely noticeable. In most 3-D movies, the 3-D doesn’t really seem natural or real, to the point of even causing giddiness at times. Or maybe the giddiness is just me. Either way, the 3-D is normally too noticeable, in a bad way.

Avatar was different, though. The 3-D effects were natural. It almost didn’t feel like I was watching a 3-D movie, until I specifically paid attention to the depth and all. It was done so well, it seemed completely natural, and it just immersed you into the world.

I think this is important. That the effects (and at the end of the day, 3-D is just an effect) don’t take away from the movie. The effects have to blend in, seem natural, and enhance the movie, not stand out so much that it detracts from the overall experience.

And I think it’s true for any product we build as well. It’s easy to get distracted by features and enhancements. It’s easy to think add more an more things, in an attempt to make the product more impressive. But we have to remember that, at the end of the day, it’s about the overall experience, not about features.

It’s also something we need to consider when building our personal brands. We need to remember the main overall message we want to send out. It’s easy to get distracted by other things. I know I’ve suffered from this. For this blog, for example. It’s so easy, and I’ve done this too, to come across a new plugin and think “I need to have that”. But I think we need to really consider how each additional “feature” we add will affect the overall experience, and as such our overall brands.

We need to stay focused, and remember that it’s about the whole experience, not about special effects. Special effects should only be there to enhance the experience.

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Sound Isolation

May 18, 2008
P.S.Image by murilocardoso via Flickr

I’ve been using the Westone UM2 Earphones for quite a while now, and it’s been awesome. But this post isn’t (just) meant as a plug. There’s been a trend towards sound isolation earphones in recent years. That’s the first step any audiophile will recommend if you’re looking to improve the sound quality.

The better listening experience isn’t just because of better sound quality. It’s mainly (at least in my opinion) because the sound is isolated – the unwanted noise of the outside world is blocked out.

There’s an important point in this – adding value is not necessarily about adding more quality. Sometimes it’s about removing the noise. Especially in today’s world, where information is coming at us from every angle, at every time.

How are you filtering out noise to provide value for those around you?

Providing an Immersive Experience

May 10, 2008
Grab some !Image by ? ? Adam via Flickr

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the success of Grand Theft Auto: IV. I haven’t really seen much of the game, so I won’t comment on that.

But what strikes me about the numbers is that they aren’t surprising. The basic economics show that. Here in Singapore, at least, a movie ticket costs anywhere between $7 to $10. A computer game can cost up to between $30 to $60.

People are willing to pay more for computer games, that’s a simple fact. Why? Because of the experience. Games allow you to get more immersed in the story. It’s about the first hand, interactive experience.

And there’s great value in that – providing an experience.

It doesn’t matter what your product is. The more immersive the experience you provide, the more its value increases. And it increases exponentially.

How can you provide a more immersive experience for your customers?

The Problem with Experience

Mar 7, 2008

I’ve been blogging for almost a year now. 10 months or so, I think. And the problem I’m starting to face is, that as I gain more experience, I start critiquing myself more. I start thinking (or over-thinking) whether I should write the post. I start wondering about how much value I’m adding (if any). And too often, it hinders me from writing. Same thing happens in my songwriting.

The problem with experience is that you know what can go wrong. You’re more aware of what is wrong. And as such, you’re less likely to just do something. It’s a problem I know. But something I still haven’t managed to overcome.

Any thoughts or suggestions?