Thursday, February 14, 2013

My thesis 'tis done... the end of the beginning...

My thesis was signed off by the Uni thi week... (after 8.5 years; 1.5 years examination, 1 year break, 1 year coursework, 1 year figuring out I needed to learn to write an essay, commenced 22.06.04 - 07.01.13)...

...I am pleased to advise that you have completed the requirements for the award of your degree. Please accept our sincere congratulations on this achievement.

.. When I tell people I am studying PhD they roll their eyes as I am about to tell them the topic, and they suspect it will mean nothing to them. But when I say, "I am looking at how consumers buy mobile phones" they relax because it is something they can identify with.

My thesis in brief: How do consumers buy mobile phones? Why do innovations fail? Why do new technologies go unused? How do consumers decide if they want to buy a new technology? I interviewed 3G mobile phone consumers to find out. What came out was an emphasis on value. Value is tricky because it is so complex. Value is personal, social, and sensitive to new information. 3G consumers described 80 types of value I summarized to 12 value meanings. I developed a process model of value. A value perspective of innovation expands the innovation definition from new and different to new and useful or otherwise valuable.

An innovation fails, when it fails to create VALUE.

More summary at:

My blog had 12,000 views about my thesis:

Other info of interest:

1.Presented research to Open Innovation conference at Harvard Business School in 2008

( search:ferrers; p.399)

2. Submitted value perspectives to: National Broadband Network (2010), US Dept of Commerce Innovation Metrics Review 2008, Garnaut Climate Change Review 2008 (submissions responding to this), Harvard Business School/McKinsey 'Innovating Innovation' Challenge Jan. 2013.

3. Planned book of Case Studies on 'The Value of Value Management'.

4. Conference Paper, DRUID Innovation Conference 2008, Toward a value theory of innovation:

Currently employed by the Australian National Data Service, where I push my understanding of value to better help Universities serve the research data management needs of researchers. I am particularly interested in how measuring value impacts how we understand and measure innovation and how it might impact national innovation policy.

Lessons Learned:
1. Patience, persistence and perseverance
2. Being in the same city with your Advisor's will speed things up
3. Learn to write. Not realising I couldn't write a five paragraph essay cost me at least a year's time - see notes here
4. Time and space are important to get your thinking straight.
5. A problem you really care about will keep you motivated but make you less flexible. Refusing to budge on some things will slow you down.
6. Letting go. My original topic was cut in half several times. See PhD blog 2004-7 here at Internet Archive.
7. Writing results didn't get traction until I found the right structure to tell the story (qualitative research). Might be different with a more formulaic quantitative thesis.
8. Write early. Write often. Not all the text fits in a thesis, so write a blog to store/archive/curate that text. My blog attracted close to 12,000 views. Now to turn those views into citations.
9. Use your time and writing to publicise your ideas into forums where the question you are answering will help others. See the list above to where I submitted a value perspective: corporate (NBN), government (US Dept of Commerce, Garnaut Climate Change Review), conference (DRUID), competition (HBS Innovating Innovation Challenge).
10. Keep healthy, exercising, get some time away from your desk. I got married, helped have a baby, and get my wife through a pregnancy and birth, moved cities, moved jobs. Yet the thesis kept on keeping on... until now... Perhaps the blog will remain the hearth that brings me back...
11. As webpages disappear... remembers them mostly...

Your comments as always welcome....


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