WhatsApp has succeeded because it is focused on creating a great product, not another social network. What will make your business unique is what you deliberately choose not to do.
After almost two years of chit-chat, WhatsApp sold to Facebook for $19 billion yesterday. For a moment, let’s ignore whatever we think about the valuation, and whether in the larger economic picture this is something to be concerned about.
Here I won’t get into the whole strategic thinking behind why this deal makes or doesn’t make sense. What I will do is talk about the picture below:…
- GILT, changed PRICE but didn’t change product, and opened a niche for discounted designer clothes.
- Phones International, changed the DISTRIBUTION MODEL of the mobile phone industry but it didn’t change the product (cell phones), and opened a niche for ‘single brand distribution.
- The Book People, changed the TARGET CUSTOMERS, but didn’t change the product (books), and opened a niche selling books to corporate clients.
- Adwords, changed the BUSINESS MODEL, but didn’t change the product (display ads), and opened a niche for ‘performance advertising’.
These are significant differences that not only differentiate the companies from all the others, but disrupted the market in some way.
What other variables can you change in a business in this way?
How are these variables called?
Where can I learn more about this?…
“It’s not enough that we win; all others must lose.” – Larry Ellison
Heard this one yesterday. I’m all in for competition, but business isn’t about war (at some point I used to think like Genghis Khan too). It isn’t about beating competitors just for the heck of it. I find this focus on competing to beat competitors ridiculous.
The focus SHOULD be on the customer winning. …
Yes, that’s my browser. It had 100 tabs open at that point in time last night. Those 100+ tabs were accumulated over a week of browsing and not reading what was previously open. Not very productive, and a clear sign of procrastination on my part. The accumulation of un-read tabs is a clear sign, to me, that I need to focus.
I’m pretty sure my laptop can handle another 100 tabs, but what’s the point of having 200 tabs open? I’ll never read them. And that’s the point. At some point in time, when complexity overwhelms us, we just want to reset and start over.…
While the statistics are debated, apparently Google’s Chrome browser has overtaken Firefox for the number two spot in two short years and now sits behind Internet Explorer. Why has this happened?
Two years ago Firefox was cruising. Their value proposition was that of reliability and security. They created a browser that never crashed and protected users. Two attributes people didn’t associate with Internet Explorer because of it’s propensity for getting exploited by hackers and malware.
They also pioneered the ability to personalize the browser by letting developers create extensions that added more functionality to the browsers. Mozilla took advantage of this and became the browser of choice for techies and internet enthusiasts.
But this focus on reliability, security and personalization, while great, made them blind to an emerging dimension: speed.
Google focused it’s efforts on making a browser that was not just reliable and secure, but also very very fast. It even touted that it was faster than lighting, and it is.
Well guess what?…
This post isn’t about Steve Jobs, it’s about emotion and how to create it with your product.
When I was a kid I would spend endless hours reading magazines at supermarkets or bookstores. From PC Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Game Pro, National Geographic, Road & Track, SLAM, you name it. At one point I had subscriptions to 15 different magazines that I got in the mail, my mom wasn’t too happy about it. And she also wasn’t happy because I kept them all well after I read them.
Out of all the magazines I read, the one’s I look more forward to reading were the ones about cars. I just loved (and still do) reading Road & Track’s car reviews because of how they described their car experience, I can still remember some of the words used in the review of the McLaren F1.
Words like: ‘staggering power’ when pushing the accelerator, ‘stratospheric’ when talking about horsepower, ‘opera-esque’ when describing the sound of the engine, ‘astonishing’ when describing the car…you get the picture. So what’s the big deal? Well the fact that I’m telling you about it today and remember it is telling. Emotions are hard to forget and even though I’ve never driven these cars, the vivid descriptions make me feel as though I almost did.
I know what you’re thinking, we already know benefits trump features. Yup, but how?
Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, is a like a little kid when talking about cars. It’s all emotion. Even if you aren’t a car fanatic you’ll love them after hearing Clarkson, just like in the video below where he drives the Ferrari Enzo. Tell me it doesn’t get your blood moving?
Did you notice how he mentions the word ‘focus’ to the describe how the car’s interior doesn’t distract you from driving? If you own and iPod, iPhone or iPad then you know what I mean. Steve Jobs is the master at creating emotions for Apple products. He makes it sound so genuine because his products satisfy him. So when he gives a keynote speech, he’s like a little kid talking to you about his new toy. Emotional!
Google did the same thing with Chrome. It’s laser focused on enabling us to browse the web faster. The user interface has only what’s necessary to browse and it makes you almost feel like the browser isn’t even there. That’s focus!
Another example I’ll give you to chew on is how Super Bike Magazine describes how the new Kawasaki ZX-10R ‘Ninja’ makes it’s driver feel: confident. Confident that you can get the best lap times and win the race. That’s what they really care about.
And with that last paragraph I get to the intent of this post: Focused products are more emotional. People don’t care about your products features, they care about what it does for them. And the way to do that is by making your product laser focused on satisfying that job.
In the Enzo’s case the job is driving, in the iPod’s case it’s carrying all your music in your pocket. They eliminated all the things that can ‘distract’ from satisfying that job.
Thoughts? Do you think products that are laser focused on satisfying a specific job more emotional?