Even when you’re a leader in your category, you must constantly change and update


Home-sharing service Airbnb is famously passionate about design. But until now they did not have a tablet app. The cofounders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, did not want to rush into it.

“We do things when we believe they have the right to exist and we know we’re going to build something incredible,” says design head Alex Schleifer, who recently gave me a sneak peek of the new app. “We’ve been looking at tablets for a long time.”

Despite having lacked their own apps until now, he says, “the tablet feels very Airbnb, because it’s something you can pass around and share—’what do you think of this?'”

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Often innovation and new ideas come from your own ‘pain points’


David Chang, Momofuku founder, was sick of sub-par takeout, so he set about creating ‘Maples’ to deliver restaurant-quality food to your home or office. Since its 28 April launch, it has been in the testing phase of development. The complication comes from the fact that unlike other apps and food delivery services, Maples controls the entire process—from order to delivery. So David and his team have had to create food that can withstand the Manhattan bike commute and still arrive in one piece. The brand identity is an important touch point as the carry bags will be visible across the city. This will be one to watch.

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The customer experience starts and ends with the car park experience!


Indooroopilly Shopping Centre car parking disaster is in the news again. On the weekend it took two hours for some customers to exit the car park. Developers and centre management forget that the customer experience starts and ends with the car park experience—it is not all about the stores. More signs and more security staff may help in the short-term, but this problem needs long-term strategies—strategies that consider and include the customer’s perspective. Observing, following, and plotting customer’s journeys throughout the centre is the only way to achieve long-term solutions.

Cover—a restaurant paying app inspired by Uber


Waiting for the restaurant tab, was the motivation for Andrew Cove to establish ‘Cover’. Cover is an app that lets you pay your tab automatically with a credit card as you leave a restaurant. Over 300 restaurants have signed up for the service, and Cover has raised $7 million in funding. Another example where ‘customer pain points’ from one sector can inspire innovation in other unrelated sectors.

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