The ad tech industry could use a serious dose of empathy. Empathy for clients who have to poke around in the crazy digital ad jungle trying to make sense of all the highly complex, poorly designed ad tech. And just as significantly, empathy for the people who get bombarded by crappy ads every day, all day.
The New York Times has a great write-up on how the D.school at Stanford is training students to develop their “empathy muscle”. Ad tech could learn a lot from their straightforward approach:
“At the heart of the school’s courses is developing what David Kelley, one of the school’s founders, calls an empathy muscle. Inside the school’s cavernous space — which seems like a nod to the Silicon Valley garages of lore — the students are taught to forgo computer screens and spreadsheets and focus on people.”