Early in ourproject, we met with reps of a large, northwest software company.
We had asked them, “what does you’re company think of women?”
They showed up with a stack of e-mail and no answer. Realizing they hadn’t managed a coherent response, one of them said:
“we build software for people and we believe women are people.”
- (they) build for people
- women are people
- therefore (they) build for women
This is analogous to saying, “all cats have four legs, my dog has four legs. Therefore my dog is a cat.”
The statement is packed with generic assumptions. At it’s worst, such assumptions can cause. At the least, they speak to an insensitivity to the needs and desires of women consumers.
Oxygen’s research confirms women are men’s digital peers and dominant influencers of purchasing decisions.
Businesses in other industries have found their women customers provide original insights into their products. Responding to those insights has lead to better solutions for both women and men.
“… women consider a longer list of criteria when selecting consumer products and stores than men do. …If a brand takes the time to understand her list, they’re going to over-deliver to men and still reach women” — Lisa Johnson, author of Don’t Think Pink
So, a better answer would have been, “we build software for women and we believe that leads to better software for people.” Still a little glib but it would definitely result in better software for those women!
We aspire to create playful & purposeful tools that:
- address real needs in the lives of women
- go beyond user interface conventions
- support collaboration between friends and family
- are accessible on whatever platform best serves the user
Our CEO is a visionary with a love of audacious challenges. We share her belief that we can be of service to women and create an opportunity for our company if we improve the software they use.
We acknowledge the pride of place women hold as our customers and seek to innovate by listening to them.
That’s my answer to why Oxygen is building software.