Thinking about Value


Thinking about Value

The importance of value is the theme in the book “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  The narrator observes that grown-ups like numbers. Grown-ups think that they know a person after then have asked questions related to a new friend’s age and how much money his parent’s make. The little prince value aspects such as the games that his new friend likes.

Our value system can be investigated by asking questions related to things and activities that we like or do not like. These kinds of questions are asked in job interviews, when you try to become a member in certain societies. They are also frequently used in dating sites, where you are asked questions such as: “What do you like to do on your holiday, improve my tan or visit museum?”and “What do you like more, a town trip or a walk in the country side?” By asking about likes, problem solving solutions, behaviours, material things, hobbies the idea is to profile you in a value system.

In most other situations, value is involved and value can be of a social, economic, moral, ethical, or ascetical origin. When you are solving a puzzle or maths problem, you are pleased if you get the right answer. This is a value in itself. Yet, the value could also be to avoid boredom, intellectual challenge, or amusement.

Thinking about value can be tricky since other people are involved and their value and points of reference can be widely different. Value is subjective and often it is about what you are prepared to pay or give up having a certain object. Value refers to “something of worth” or “highly appreciated.” It could also refer to deeply felt beliefs or strongly held convictions about moral behaviour.  Identification of new market or increasing the charitable contributions may help to increase the value that other people ascribe to the company. Encouraging people within an organisation to think could be described as a positive value.

The Value of Creating

We often value the things we make ourselves and by letting people design their own  T-shirt or select the ingredients in their muesli, you provide people with the illusion that they have created something themselves. As a result, people value the product more and often they are prepared to pay more for a product that they have designed.

Knowledge and understanding about what people value may come a as surprise and getting this wrong may means that it takes longer for an idea to become popular.

The first instant cake mixes required no effort and they were not popular. By letting people add an egg, the mixtures became a hit. Now they cooks felt valued. And they enjoyed baking cakes using the instant cake mixes.

Design by Using Values

There are different approaches to understanding how, why, and to what degree people should value things. Whether the thing is a person, idea, object, or something else.  From an economic perspective, economic values are seen as an underlying value. In ethics, instrumental and intrinsic values are discussed.  Some things are good because they may result in good things – instrumental values. Others are good in themselves – intrinsic value. It is sometimes argued that wild life in itself has an intrinsic value and that this value comes before using nature as a resource for humans.

Build a car around the concept of confidence or value set of say three values, such as, confidence, reliability, and simplicity.

Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.

The task is now to make cars that make drivers more confident but avoid overconfidence. This could lead to the idea that the car’s computer gives feedback to the driver about the car’s handling. Maybe it is possible to use GPS and electronic maps for that.

Photo: Dripping Gold Color by pixtawan

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