Three stages of development of any service or what is common between McDonalds and IBM Watson

    Smart people have long noticed that any service, whether making coffee or accounting services, goes through three specific stages of development, each of which is inevitable. This is a very interesting and curious fact. I suggest trying to discover its nature, to observe it with examples close to us, and to try to make small predictions about what and how should change in our life according to this pattern.

    So, what kind of stages are these, you ask impatiently? I propose not to rush to answer and try to bring them out on the basis of knowledge about the world and simple thoughts.

    Unique and unpredictably reproducible. Stage One.

    The exciting, energy-giving effect of coffee beans was first noticed by the Ethiopian ancestors of the Oromo peoples. Legend has it that the shepherd Kaldim discovered this amazing property in the ninth century, accidentally noticing how his goats frolicked frolicingly, after eating obscure red berries. However, the idea of ​​roasting coffee will come to humanity only after three hundred and fifty years, and for now, our shepherd and his followers get a wonderful drink by boiling dried shells of grain. Please note, we are witnessing the emergence of a new service, let's call it Coffee making .

    At this stage, only a few people know how to prepare a miraculous drink, knowledge of this is passed on by word of mouth, there is no guaranteed reproduction, that is, what Kaldim prepared today is not at all the fact that it will look like what he will make the day after tomorrow. And about the fact that a completely different drink will be released by his friend Haile and can not be said. We will call this stage Uniqueness .

    Standardization and warranties. Stage Two.

    What was the problem for eleven centuries after the discovery of Kaldim? The coffee recipe was passed from person to person, each prepared it differently. In your favorite institution, where you used to drink an invigorating drink in the morning, the employee could change, and with it the taste and the desired effect changed.

    Nobody likes to take risks, we are all ready to pay for the predictability of the result and guarantees, regardless of what is at stake. Of course, any market hears this and at some point, when technological progress allows it, it proceeds to the next stage, offering the customer predictability and guarantees.

    One of such transformations in our example in 1970 was made by an English teacher Jerry Baldwin, having thrown one and a half thousand bucks with a friend and opened a store selling and roasting coffee beans. Thus began a long way to standardize the preparation of coffee . It was decided to put the feeling that was sold to the visitor on the stream, so that no matter what kind of institution you find yourself in, you get the service of the same level. The network of coffee houses spread like an epidemic and today has more than 19 thousand points located in America, Canada, Japan, Great Britain and Russia.

    But with all this scope, the service is standardized to the last. Clear procedures for making coffee and used coffee machines and cooking programs are described, hard guidelines for room design are developed, uniform clothing for personnel is defined and conversational modules are created that are used when communicating with a visitor. It was decided what kind of music should play and with what marker your name is written on a glass with a drink. The regulations on the choice of premises even contain a strict requirement that the entrance door to the restaurant must face south or east so that the visitor in the morning can enjoy the rays of the rising sun.

    All this is done in order to guarantee you that when you come to one of the tens of thousands of Starbucks coffee houses and order your favorite grande latte, you will get exactly the same taste and, most importantly, emotion, like anywhere else in this network. So, we see that the service has transformed, it has passed the standardization stage and now its supplier is ready to give guarantees and stably reproduce the result.

    Lighting and Box Solution. Stage Three.

    Well, it seems that the service has become standard and predictable, it would seem, what else is needed? But after all, for my favorite taste, I need to go to the nearest coffee shop! And there is also a human factor, a small mistake and the day may be spoiled. Now, if it was possible to deliver the service to the client directly home and be sure that he would get exactly the taste and mood that the creator had in mind ...

    Nestle thought about this in 1976, but after several unsuccessful attempts to approach this task, they were defeated. However, after 12 years, when the coffee market successfully entered the era of standardization, work continued. And very soon there were interesting results: in 1990, Nespresso came out with a boxed solution for making coffee.

    Wait, wait, you say. But ordinary instant coffee, isn’t it going to be a box solution in our history? Of course, partly yes, but you, as a manufacturer, do not know how your client will prepare it, how much water he will pour, what temperature, whether the water will undergo the necessary treatment and purification. You do not know how long the jar stood open and whether the taste was weathered. After all, this is not a user’s problem, it’s a problem for you, as a manufacturer, too much is solved not depending on you, and therefore it is impossible to bear responsibility for the final taste, and at the same time for the user's feelings.

    So back to what Nespresso has offered the world. They turned the Coffee Making service into a boxed solution by creating a capsule coffee machine. Let me briefly tell you how. The first idea is the deep integration of coffee beans and a coffee machine, just like Apple does by connecting software and hardware. Nespresso licenses companies for the production of coffee machines developed by them, which work only with their capsules, and also produce coffee capsules themselves. We start the discussion with the latter.

    What do you think is the most expensive in a coffee capsule for a manufacturer? No, not coffee and not even delivery. The most expensive packaging. It is made of aluminum, which is why it bypasses its contents by a large margin. The coffee capsule, designed for exactly one serving of the drink, is sealed in an aluminum hermetically sealed container. This is to ensure that coffee does not enter into chemical reactions with the container and retains its original taste. Then coffee is poured into the capsule, prepared according to strict standards that guarantee taste, and in the end it is filled with inert gas (that's right, the interaction of coffee with air greatly changes its properties).

    The next part of the magic is coffee machines. When you buy a Nespresso machine, you buy an exact copy of the drink as it was developed in the laboratory by leading experts in this field. Almost all machines are equipped with water purification systems, because the manufacturer does not know what kind of water the user will fill, but for the desired taste, a given degree of purification and a certain level of salt and mineral content are required. The machine has almost one button Cook. The latest machine models themselves recognize what kind of capsule is inserted into them (for different types of coffee, of course, different capsules). So, the machine itself can decide, according to the laid program, how much water is needed, to what temperature it is heated and at what speed to pass through the capsule, it is honed until the temperature profile of the water entering the capsule, at which the most delicious version of the drink is obtained.

    We see how we managed to fully embody the Coffee making service. You buy a machine and capsules, press only one key and get a drink, according to mass spectral analysis is almost the same as the creators did. There are hundreds of tastes in the company's lineup, you can choose the one that you like and be sure that you will always get a drink everywhere, and with it the feeling that you loved when you first sip.

    Does it only work with coffee?

    Surprisingly, it seems to work everywhere. I suggest taking and analyzing a few examples to feel how this usually happens.

    Accounting services

    1. A unique phenomenon. Some people learn the intricacies of paperwork and help others. Someone does it better, someone worse, to find a buhaletra you need to ask Oksana's friend, telling her that you are from Misha.
    2. Standardization. Accounting offices appear, employees are unified. Corporate training, job assessment and quality control of the result are carried out, now you do not need to ask for the name of a good accountant by your friends, just go to a respectable company.
    3. Reification. Services appear, like My business. The service turns into a boxed solution and everyone can connect their bank account and fill out the necessary fields to receive documents issued by the last letter of the law, as well as send them to the necessary authorities with one click.

    Credit services

    1. A unique phenomenon. Rich men with money are sitting in a primitive bazaar, wanting to increase it by lending at a percentage. They look at you, ask different questions, try to understand whether you will return the money to them. Each of them trains their skill, their perceptron, to recognize those who will repay the loan and who will not.
    2. Standardization. Banks are opening. Now the first formulas and checklists are born that you need to ask a person in order to make a decision on lending. You no longer need magical knowledge, a pretty girl is waiting for you in the bank, who will ask questions nicely and, according to standard instructions, will decide on the issue of money to you.
    3. Reification. Solutions are born, such as TKS Bank. Filling out a questionnaire on a credit card, the algorithm looks at the speed with which you type words in the registration form. Requests for ownership of property are sent automatically by you. The computer checks whether you are registered, information is being searched for on social networks. Everything from spelling mistakes in your status to the list of your friends and the music you listen to goes to the scoring function. A person no longer takes part in this, the decision on lending becomes completely boxed. It is able to predict with a given probability whether you will return the money, regardless of rain, time of day or even the illness of any employee.

    Medical services

    1. A unique phenomenon. A long time ago, healers appeared who noticed that by applying a certain grass to a sore spot, more often a person became better. However, their knowledge was fragmented, not systematized, each of them was unique and not reproducible.
    2. Standardization. Science is born medicine, knowledge is accumulated and systematized, there are medical schools and institutes. Now the profession of a doctor is being standardized, international exams and certification programs appear that guarantee that your doctor has a certain level of knowledge of the subject area.
    3. Reification. IBM is developing a Watson software product that, after analyzing hundreds of thousands of cancer histories, can diagnose certain types of cancer more accurately than the best doctors in the world. And most importantly, the likelihood of his successful diagnosis is known and does not depend on anything. The world received reification, a boxed solution where it seemed impossible - in medicine.

    Catering services

    1. A unique phenomenon. People have discovered interesting combinations of products that give rise to new tastes. There were craftsmen who dedicated themselves to this and discovered a whole world of wonderful taste combinations. But they were unique, if Alice cooked deliciously, then it was almost impossible to get the same tasty dish without her.
    2. Standardization. Standardization began to take place, collections of recipes appeared. Now Alice can describe the sequence of her actions as instructions on paper, she will be replicated, and other talented girls will try to repeat a delicious dish at home. There comes a standardization in nutrition.
    3. Reification. Today, each of us sees an example of successful reification in this market of services - BigMac at McDonalds. This is not a recipe, this is a specific thing, a boxed product. Whatever country of the world you are in, at any time of the day you can buy this bun and be sure that it is a complete copy of the one you like.

    And what can soon move to the next level?

    Yes, anything. Here, for example, take the services of hairdressers. Today they are actually at the first stage of development. When I come to the salon near the house, I never know until the end what hairstyle I will leave with. Each time I say the same thing, accurate to the word, and show my best photo, but the result is reminiscent of participation in the lottery. According to this trend, a solution should appear when I come to the hairdresser, my head is scanned, I select a haircut from the catalog, solemnly say, “Please, LS-276,” I put my head in a large box where the hair takes off with a powerful vacuum cleaner and A small, but fast and accurate laser in a minute makes each hair length accurate to a millimeter, forming the hairstyle I ordered.

    There are many such examples, I won’t tell everything that I myself thought up over long hours of thinking about it, but I’ll be glad if you write your train of thought in the comments, this is insanely interesting and curious.

    Why do I need to know all this?

    If you are thinking of doing a small business or a startup and you don’t have an idea what can shoot, look at the services around you, think at what stage of development they are now and if this is one of the first, try to imagine how the same service in the next stages of development. The trick is that she will come there sooner or later, this is inevitable, only a matter of time. However, this idea is already in your head and you can be the first to implement it.

    In conclusion

    The market for services inevitably goes towards standardization and subsequent materialization. We welcome initiative and creativity in creative processes, searches, solutions to non-standard tasks. However, in everyday everyday tasks, resorting to the services of other people and experts, we all want to avoid risks, we want to have a guarantee of the quality of the result, and we also need reproducibility of the result, because this is the only way we can advise friends or use it for the second time. There are still many areas in the world at the early stages of development, but these are not problems, these are interesting tasks that we can solve. I hope this article helps someone look at things differently and understand another pattern.

    PS I myself am engaged in a project that is designed to transfer education to the next step. Education, almost unchanged since 1088, when the first universities opened. Today, in the twenty-first century, it should look completely different. We want to make a decision that allows us to predict and guarantee learning outcomes. What everyone wants and what so far no one has. But this is another story ...

    PPS This material was written based on the work of Sergei Sychev, published on the website .

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