I asked him when is it necessary to have a chat bot? Eric says the only reason to create a chat bot is if you are trying to create an experience that is made better by a chat bot. There are certain use cases where it makes sense.
For example, if you want to count your calories you use the MyFitnessPal app and you type in your meal. But if your item wasn’t in there (say a burrito) you’d have to type in the individual components of the burrito. So it became clunky and hard to use in that instance.
People resolved that issue by developing chat bots that use natural language processing; you could tell the bot you had a burrito and it would break up the ingredients and add them to your daily log. In that example a chat bot makes sense because it created a better user environment.
On today’s show we also talk about what he is doing today. Eric left Rock My World Media recently because he was basically burned out. After some contemplation, he noticed a pattern at all of the companies he joined: a focus on generating profits. Eric says problem emerge when the fundamental goal of a company is to generate profits.
It’s like a musician who goes to a big record label: the label crushes the independence and the integrity and the spirit of the music. The same happens to start-ups when they take on funding from aggressive investors who are focused on increasing profits and growing the bottom line – rather than the users.
Instead, if companies focus on the discipline of user-centric design that will ultimately lead to a product collaboration with users, and the empathy and trust that is created with those users based on that model.
We wrap up today’s episode with how to implement empathy for users and build the company’s mission into every department, as well as the books Eric is reading right now.