The Moment Economy - Part 1

A new reality of consumption

Daniel Egger

8/13/20152 min read

a woman standing in front of a sunset
a woman standing in front of a sunset

Martin Fink, CTO and Director of HP Labs, makes a powerful and candid statement when he says, "I was frustrated we were not thinking far enough into the future" and "We were not responding aggressively enough" (MIT Technological Review). Both challenges are critical when connecting the future. Firstly, the level of urgency required to adapt the organizational logic is often too high. For example, key Performance Indicators must display a strong signal; the organization has to feel an impact on revenues, management teams must align, investigational projects must be created, new priorities must be set, and a search for further alternatives must be initiated. This process is too long, especially for our current realities.

Agility to act and acceptance of new logic, particularly for innovation and strategy, are crucial. We must continuously explore new options, both technologically and in terms of humanization and contextualization. Ultimately, people connect with organizations through products, services, and brands in specific moments and situations, seeking satisfactory experiences.

We identify changes and patterns when we look into the future and gain a more holistic perspective (both temporally and across different aspects of society). Most importantly, we must discover who the individuals are and what they might value. These individuals and their moments, along with the technological and societal fabric, are constantly changing. This logic applies not only to the future but also to the present and the past. In this "Economy of the Moments," organizations are urged to understand the moments in which they can participate to generate value.

Experiences from the past, our sensory perception, and our thoughts are all present at a specific time. For example, we may experience joy (Erlebnis) and disappointment or learn from one particular moment (Erfahrung). The challenge for organizations is understanding this living instance and how to participate, creating value with the person experiencing it.

Value moments describe touch-points and explore why the often ephemeral connections occur, through what product or service it is accessed, and what experiences it might generate. The consumption of moments, rather than just products, services, or brands, makes consumption patterns even more fluid. The monetary satisfaction or experience creates a stage, valid for a moment, and they are constantly changing. Ad-hoc consumption, collaboration, and problem-solving; all these new solutions revolve around satisfying moments.

To provide value in such conditions, organizations need agility, questioning the often too "static" strategic execution and the frequently present-focused innovations. If organizations embrace the fact that moments change constantly and that the future is a competitive force to explore new value differentiation and opportunities, they prepare for a more sustainable business where new logics constantly collide with present business wisdom.

In the second part, I will explore how Amazon is revolutionizing the idea of consumption in specific moments and how the Moment Economy goes beyond experiences or product characteristics. It is all about value generation and perception, constantly evolving to meet the demands of an ever-changing world.