Schlagwort-Archive: Legal

The relative normal

In the old Prussian infantry regiment No 6, the Potsdam giants served the King of Prussia. Named after the minimum length of six Prussian feet and extended by their particularly red miter, they formed an imposing formation. Those who never got to see the Long Fellows at that time were 20 cm shorter and could assume an average height of 1.67 m. In contrast, the Long Guys measured about 1.88 m. The normal size is determined by the environment in which the people are. Normality lies in the eye of the beholder.

Personal experiences and cultural, technical, economic, political, legal, or ecological patterns make the difference.

  • The cultural normality
    Shared values or lifestyles are the basis for group cohesion. For some people, fixed dates are insignificant (polychronic). Others value a binding time allocation (monochronic). Additional differences arise from language – high-context, when little is usually said because most are considered known; low-context when every detail is typically communicated. Other dimensions of normality are the actions in and interactions with the environment; whether the focus is on the group or the individual; the handling of space; the power structures; the mental models; the belief systems that are difficult to change.
    The cultural circumstances determine the normal.
  • The technical normality
    In today’s VUCA world of developed countries, it is hard to imagine that everyday technical life on earth is very different. Take, for example, the Khoisan, the hunter-gatherers who have been hunting with bows and arrows and communicating with clicking sounds for 10,000 to 25,0000 years in southern Africa. At the same time, more and more people in industrialized countries are using electronic ‘prostheses’ that help them think and understand and execute spoken commands. Apps provide smart home applications, language translation, assisted driving, and navigation systems. Everyday technical life is mainly permeated by I.T., which ensures operations, accelerates product life cycles, and enables product innovations.
    The available technical possibilities determine the normal.
  • The economic normality
    In early history, the economy consisted of bartering – exchanging hunted prey for crops for tools for clothing for kitchen tools for jewelry. Barter was replaced after the 7th-century B.C. by coins, since the 7th-century A.D. by bills, and since the 15th-century by cashless payment systems. In parallel, ever larger quantities were offered by craftsmen, then manufacturers, and eventually companies. With industrialization, the maximally differentiated division of labor passed its zenith. In the course of digitalization, mass-produced individual orders (Serial customization) become possible.
    The prevailing economic system determines the normal.
  • The political normality
    Classifying a country as a democracy assumes comparable political conditions – e.g., in Germany, Sweden, and Spain. Already in the primitive Greek democracy, not all people were equal (more here). Let’s look at other countries, such as North Korea, Belarus, China, or even the USA and Brazil. The different living conditions become apparent – competition supervision, political stability, tax laws, trade barriers, security requirements, and subsidies.
    The current political system determines the normal.
  • The legal normality
    Legal understanding is closely linked to political normality, i.e., determined by national borders. Legislation, the treatment of minorities, consumer, antitrust, labor and employment protection laws, tax guidelines, competition regulations, and other legal influences, regulations, international and national standards, local ordinances, and mechanisms for monitoring and ensuring compliance vary from location to location. The law is different everywhere – except that people must comply with it.
    The physical presence of people and equipment determine the normal
  • The ecological normality
    The natural environment depends on longitude, latitude, and altitude. In addition, the natural conditions are threatened by industrial damages. Whether or not it is man-made, even the last doubters must acknowledge that the climate data indicates a dramatic climate change. Weather extremes and a changing temperature threaten local livelihoods.
    The overpowering nature determines the normal.

The Gaussian bell curve is the best-known expression for statistical normality. For example, properties such as age, intelligence, or population income are evaluated here. Life expectancy depends on the type of calculation, i.e., the average life expectancy of women at birth is 84; the most common age at death, however, is 90. The regular intelligence quotient is between 85 and 115. A typical income is between €15,000 and €100,000; the gross average income is in Germany €3,975 (women €3,578/men €4,146).
Statistical normality is determined by comprehensible figures – depending on the calculation method.

Bottom line: Long story short: There is no general normal. It is always a selected determination that can be decreed differently at any time. This explains the many alternative facts that cannot be avoided for the above reasons. Debates are inevitable. And dogmatic opinion-makers can take any point of view they want. Since we cannot prevent this, we need new ways of dealing with this relativity. We can start by no longer arguing about vague facts, figures, and dates. As soon as we ask several experts, we get a variety of consistent explanations. However, it is not a matter of agreeing on what is normal but instead finding a joint solution. A problem doesn’t go away by arguing about the relative normal, but only if the problem gets solved.

The Why needs perspectives

The answer to Why is not an easy thing, because it leads to different results due to the different perspectives. With the development of a new product, various aspects of a solution must be questioned. Imagine an app for your smartphone that generates new ideas for your business based on the own online activities. The freemium version offers one idea per day. The paid version has additional features and collects between 0.1 $ and 5 $ for each additionally retrieved idea depending on the contract. Why should you invest money in the development of this app? Why do you need certain functions? Why should customers subscribe to the paid version? To assess the viability of the draft, a set of perspectives can be used. This provides more comprehensive insights into the Why.

In the following, several perspectives are used to understand “Why” the described app makes sense. In addition, there are still “infinite” more other aspects that may be relevant. Let’s look at the draft out of some basic perspectives.

  • Customer Perspective
    Customers love Freemium, because they do not have to commit to anything and can use for free more or less of the benefits of the offer. One idea per day adds up to 365 free ideas that allow a real assessment of the benefits. The consideration of the personal attitudes delivers results, which are worth knowing for everybody. Of course, the professional wants to be able to get more needs-oriented ideas. Flexible payment models serve these various needs. If one of the ideas comes to fruition, then the subscription is financed for a long time.
  • Contentual perspective
    The challenges are the topics and the approach to avoid the repetition of ideas. In the freemium version, the Internet activities are evaluated and condensed to one new idea per day. In the professional environment, more settings are needed to align the target area to a current task. Other features are available, such as tracing previous ideas. Evaluations have shown that ideas can be generated without limits.
  • Social perspective
    An important task will be the dispelling of the concerns of individual users, who feel being observed through assessing their Internet activity. They overlook the fact that these traces persist in the net in any case and that they get for the first time the opportunity to use these traces for themselves. The spared time, the advancement of the business and the increased reputation, which is generated by the ideas, should quickly let them be open for conviction.
  • Technological perspective
    This cloud-based service operates based on big data that is already used by major online retailers. You get additional purchase proposals, when you buy a CD appears “Other buyers, who bought this CD …” The main difference of the app is the controllable semantic evaluation, which generates more and more ideas, and does not serve as a sales hook to buy something. The features can be set in a unique way with the special, multilingual meaning engine. The corresponding patent has already been granted.
  • Economical perspective
    It is common to attract large user groups via freemium offers. The business case assumes that 10% of the free accounts book the paid packages subsequently. This results in revenues that bring the project into the profit zone within three years. Analysts concluded that the effect of conditioning will be driven by the usable ideas that will motivate users to stay an active member for a long time. A small, solvent group will be interested in elaborate additional offers. The critical tipping point is reached after two years. Thereafter, the main task will be to ensure availability and to continuously expand the offer.
  • Political perspective
    So far, the introductory provisions allow a cross-border exchange of ideas. Should there be a tightening of customs regulations, then the supply can be easily nationalized, i.e. the programs are set up nationally and need therefore no longer operating across borders. There are no disturbing distortions to competition since it stimulates the business of key competitors, like consultants and creative firms. The results of the app consist of short ideas, which create comprehensive consulting services for the implementation. The use in crisis regions and authoritarian states could be difficult because the network access is not guaranteed.
  • Legal perspective
    The data that is used consists of the data tracks that the user creates in the net. In principle this data belongs to the users. The ideas that are generated by the app are public domain and can be used free of charge by the users. It is planned to include a legal verification in a premium version. The product liability of the offers resulting from the ideas remains with the manufacturer. From a legal point of view nothing speaks against the app.
  • Ecological perspective
    The impact on the environment is mainly determined by the operation of the data centers – air conditioning, electricity, the fuel of the emergency power generators. The actual ideas are not polluting per se. Ecologically questionable ideas are filtered out to the extent that environmental damage is minimized on a non-dogmatic level, e.g. waste of natural resources and non-recyclable waste is avoided by default. The app has a positive effect on CO2 footprint of the idea scouts, who limit their research to the net.
  • Own perspective
    The developers have reported that they are proud having found these resourceful algorithms, since more and more ideas are needed in the future to make small businesses viable. For them, the program is a contribution to the world of work of tomorrow and after-tomorrow. They already have plans for much more extensive analysis capabilities. The positive attitude of the involved people promises long-lasting momentum for the development of new features.

Bottom line: Of course, the story is fake news. But, the example clarifies that looking at a new product out of only one perspective, e.g. the business case, is inadequate. Additionally each of the indicated perspectives has its purpose. For this reason, it is always beneficial to change your standpoint, to put on a new hat, to walk in the moccasins of others in order to get to an overall assessment. Only then, one perceives the actual potentials and is able to recognize the challenges at an early stage. In order to get better, the Why needs perspectives.