Mind the Tech NYC

Technology Allows Us to Unleash Deep-Seated Needs and Desires, Says Google Executive

As innovation unlocks new technologies, people still feel the need to connect it to their everyday lives, says Head of Strategic Planning at Google Abigail Posner

Orr Hirschauge 18:1118.03.18
Current technology has almost limitless applications, but what gets Head of Strategic Planning at Google Abigail Posner most excited is that technology enables people to unleash and express their deep-seated needs and desires. In a talk given during Calcalist’s Mind the Tech conference, held in New York last week, Ms. Posner talked about the insights she gained during the last six years on her job.


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“I was tasked to bring to life brands in the digital space,” she explained her initial position. “And here I was, looking at all this technology, all these applications and devices and channels, and I’m thinking—I don’t get it.”





Her breakthrough came when she realized she needed to look not at what people were doing, but at the reasons and motivations behind their actions. If those meanings could be understood, then it would be much easier to know how to leverage them, and what to create as a brand.


To understand the deeper relationships people have with social media and with devices such as smartphones, Ms. Posner partnered with anthropologists, a field she herself studied in the past.


They discovered that despite the digital space today’s devices create, people still need the connection to the physical space—their local bar or restaurant, for example. Every such place has a memory or an emotion attached to it. According to Ms. Posner, this practice, well known in anthropology, is called place-making. “Our phones allow us to place-make like never before.”


Recognize people’s desire to place-make and build on it, is Ms. Posner’s advice to content creators and businesses.
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