Matt Webb Speaks

The most interesting conversation I had this year was with Matt Webb of Schulze and Webb at Euro Foo Camp. I asked Matt what he was up to, and in the next three hours he told me. He’s looking at the future through the eyes of a product-capable interaction designer, and what he sees is really exciting. It aligns with a lot of what we’ve been talking about within O’Reilly, and Matt has this amazing creativitiy bubbling in him so that he’s not just capable of identifying a trend but also building great products around them.

This vision of a future with ubiquitous design, networked tangibles, and connected users is powerful and once you hear it you start to see it in everything. Matt’s begun writing up what he sees on the Schulze and Webb blog [update: corrected URL]. Start with 3C Products which lays out the Internet age expectations, and then read The Life of Products which describes the trend to designing activities around products beyond the strict function of the product, and then read Experience Hooks, which digs deeper into examples of designed product interactions.

Matt’s talking about more than pure technology here. He touches on branding and marketing as well. When we spoke, he made it clear that he was talking about the future of mainstream mass-commmercial products and companies: what we see in Apple’s “opening my iPod was a religious moment” unboxing or Flickr’s “having a massage” [update: not a backrub, d’oh] voice will be seen in footwear, food, and bathroom fixtures. This fits right with what we do at Radar, which is Watching the Alpha Geeks. Read the posts and you’ll see why Matt’s one of the alpha geeks we watch.