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Science Of Desire Article Summary And Critique

1293 words - 6 pages


Summary The article The Science of Desire presents ethnography and its proponents play an important role in modern business world. Author Ante began with an example, the satellite-radio war, to show how ethnography worked in business. In satellite-radio war, Sirius Satellite Ratio made a team of social scientists, designers, and ethnographers. Through studying customers’ habit of listening to music, watching TV and reading magazines, the team concluded several facts that can defeat competitors. Then, depending on the research, Sirius launched its new product, the Sirius S50. Later, as the company’s wish, the S50 became one of the hottest sellers in that season. First, as author Ante ...view middle of the document...

Second, ethnography cracks markets. GE wanted to get into the plastic-fiber business, which provides material for higher-value, higher-margin products such as fire-retardant jackets and bulletproof vests. However, after research, Jump researchers found customers want to take part in the development of advanced materials. Therefore, GE shares prototypes with customers. Furthermore, instead of currying favor with executives, it works closely with engineers to solve technical problems. Third, ethnography transforms a culture. From 1990s, Intel, a big corporation that does not market directly to consumers, brought in ethnographers at the highest levels of management in order to focus on consumer products more. In past years, Intel developed its wireless Centrino mobile technology by studying Alaska’s fishers; Intel began to develop medical technology for the wave of retiring boomers by studying the elderly; Intel developed $500 Community India PC by studying rural Indian condition. In order to do better in ethnography research, Intel created a network of “platform-definition centers” in Bangalore, Cairo, São Paulo, and Shanghai. Although some ones in the company still does not believe ethnography, with anthropologists’ help, indeed engineers and other had better get used to it. Critique Generally, I agree with the principles of this article. At first, let’s look at what is ethnography. According to the definition in the website Wikipedia: Therefore, ethnography using in business is a study of customers. Along with customer’s life condition and education level improving, customers pay more attention to the value of products or services for them. The value of products or services is different from the quality of them. Maybe a product has many functions, and its reliability is very good, but if it cannot satisfy customers’ requirement, it cannot win in competition. For example, Google and Baidu are competitors in online search in China. Google is the largest search website in the world, but it is not the No.1 in China. According to the article The plucky local search groups that defy Planet Google, Baidu’s share of the Chinese search market is 66.5%, but Google’s share in China is just only 11.3%. Jason Yu (2008) said, “Google has many excellent products, but not every product has performed well in China.” The reason is some functions in Baidu satisfy Chinese customers. For instance, Baidu provides free music search and Baidu Post, an online forum function of which a little likes Wikipedia. Another key fact is customer’s unarticulated desire. In China, cell phone message is very popular, but the Chinese-character text input method is not easy for everyone, especially the elders. People just felt previous input methods are not good, but they can present which kind of method they need. After observing this phenomenon, Motorala researchers developed a cell phone that lets users input messages by writing directly on the keypad. Now, we know the...

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