Monday, April 25, 2011

Are We Moving Too Fast?

As we create more and more New & Improved stuff, are we really creating more obsolete stuff and thus wasting the older new & improved because we want the Newest?

I believe there is a point where we can create either consumer paralysis or consumer regret.

The consumer paralysis comes when they don't buy because they are always waiting for the next best thing to arrive and so they never buy.

The consumer regret comes when shortly after they buy, they see the next best thing and they wish they had it, but now they have to wait due to lack of money or contracts.

Seth Godin talked about this last week:

Improving the trains

While making the trains run on time is a good thing, making them run early is not.

If you define success as getting closer and closer to a mythical perfection, an agreed upon standard, it's extremely difficult to become remarkable, particularly if the field is competitive. Can't get rounder than round.

In general, purple cows live in fields where it's possible to reinvent what people expect.

The timing of your product/services is important just as it is to understand the different buying cycles of Early Adopters, the Mainstream, and the Late Bloomers.

This was the topic last week on the Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo, which I update every Tuesday at 7am:

Changes are occurring faster and faster.

I'm sure my parents and even grandparents felt the same way in their lifetimes.

With the speed of technology improvements, it seems that what was last months new thing, is already outdated.

And there is no sign that any of this shows any sign of slowing down.

So how do you ride the wave of the next new thing?

Understand that the Early Adopters are always going to be looking for the next new thing. These people will not make you rich, but if they have influence, they can help push your new thing to Mainstream.

Once the new thing becomes Mainstream, the Early Adopters may or may not stick around, since they are always on the look out for the next new thing.

But Mainstream is where the money is at. If there is money to be made by your thing, this will be the time. If your thing becomes really popular, you will face competitors, more than you can imagine.

What about the Late Bloomers? Typically these are the hardest to convince. Usually no amount of advertising will ever move them to spend their money with you. Word of mouth and peer pressure along with a low price is what gets them to become your customer.

Once you understand this business cycle, you can create a focus, a strategy, and the tactics to make it work, and worry less about trying to please everyone, all the time.

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