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What Drives Consumer Adoption Of New Technologies?

What Drives Consumer Adoption Of New Technologies?
I'm participating in a panel discussion this morning during the offsite of a major media company. They sent me a list of questions in preparation of the event. One of the questions was the title of this post; "What drives consumer adoption of new technologies?". It's an interesting question and one I've never tried to answer directly in writing. But it's also a question we attempt to answer every day in our firm as we evaluate thousands of new startups every year. Let's take ten of the most popular new consumer technology products in recent years (with a couple of our portfolio companies in the mix): iPhone, Facebook, Wii, Hulu, FlipCam, Rock Band, Mafia Wars, Blogger, Pandora, and Twitter and let's try to describe in one sentence or less why they broke out (feel free to debate the reasons they broke out in the comments): In most of these cases, the breakthrough product or service delivered a new experience to consumers that they had never had before. Related:  Functionnal designProduct managementWeb Creativity

The end of the killer feature At The Economist Ideas Economy event Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, in an excellent talk about open source software, proclaimed the end of the killer feature. He asked the packed audience of high profile influentials how many people use Firefox, and how many of them have a plugin installed – and a good percentage of them raised their hands. He’s got a point. For many kinds of products, it’s the end of the killer feature. There was a day and time when software product launches hinged on features (or killer applications) and how the new features compared to the old features competitors had. But today, with websites, iPhone apps, and web browser plugins. new feature additions are cheap(er) and can roll in at any time: the feature set matters, but it matters less. Curiously enough, Apple’s app store is leading the way in 2010, which is an inversion of what happened in the 90s with Microsoft and Apple. But the new plague we have is the annoyance of syncing upgrades and compatibility.

Screw the Power Users I designed HomeSite and TopStyle for power users. Only power users would want to edit HTML & CSS by hand, so I made sure to cater to them. Those products were filled with features and tool buttons, and their settings dialogs contained dozens of geeky options. Customers liked them that way. I liked them that way, too. But then I made FeedDemon. At first I built FeedDemon as though my customers were geeks like me, since that was what I was used to. So with each new version I tried to simplify the user interface, and dropped features & options that complicated the product. I’d come out with new versions that I thought dramatically improved the product, only to find my forums filled with complaints from power users who wanted the return of some obscure option, or were upset that I wasn't adding the geeky features they wanted. Sales went up, but positive feedback went down. Sure, if you're building a product for power users, make sure to cater to them.

How to Use Amazon Web Services to Make a Video on Demand Service - ReadWriteCloud Google TV is about to launch. It's playing a part in the way people think about how the Internet and traditional media meet to form an entertainment experience that is new but not relegated to a traditional television set or a personal computer. Right now, television shows or movies can be converted to be seen online but it requires a digital device to view the programming. The television set can support digital media but it often lacks a browser. That's what Google is banking on will make the difference. This will have the purpose of providing television with its own Web oriented architecture. In anticipation of the coming bridge between television and the Internet, independent filmmaker Zak Forsman began digging into what it would cost in time and money to launch an online video on demand (VOD) portal for Sabi Pictures. Forsman first looked into Youreeka and Maxcast, video on demand services. Forsman used Wordpress to create a site where the videos could be viewed. Dynamic Streaming

Criticism and Two Way Streets A post by Jason Fried titled “Give it 5 minutes” reminded me of a great technique I learned about from Bill Buxton. Bill is a Principal Researcher in Microsoft where his main role focuses on designing a company that permits great design to happen. As many have learned to their peril, it’s not simply a case of just dumping talent in a room full of Ikea furniture. In large companies you have to design the process that creates design. One key idea Bill advocates is an emphasis on exploring the solution space before iterating on a solution. However having great designers each producing great solutions to a shared problem can cause conflict, if not managed correctly… Exploring the Solution Space Like Apple, Microsoft encourages their designers to create many different solutions to any given design problem. When Does Your Solution Suck? Every solution is great in some circumstances and terrible in others. Less Time Arguing, More Time Designing

Rarely say yes to feature requests - Inside Intercom Here’s a simple set of Yes/No questions that you can quickly answer before you add another item to your product roadmap. Saying yes to a feature request – whether it’s a to an existing customer, a product enquiry, a teammate, or a manager – is immediately rewarding. It’s an unspoken transaction where you barter long term product focus in exchange for short term satisfaction. Buying short term joy for the cost of long term pain is the human condition. Previously we’ve written about how product strategy means saying no, but a list of reasons to reject a feature isn’t as immediately useful as a test that any new feature must pass. Lots of our readers made that exact point to us too: So here’s a list of questions your new feature must score straight yes’s on. More important than any metric, customer request, or sales target is your vision. Product decisions based on vision alone sometimes seem irrational, because they’re tough decisions. Beware the “fre-cently” bias.

The Happiness Project Toolbox Skeuomorph A skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original.[1] Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal[2] and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.[3] Definition and purpose[edit] Skeuomorph is compounded from the Greek: skéuos, σκεῦος (container or tool), and morphḗ, μορφή (shape). Skeuomorphs are deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, or are simply habits too deeply ingrained to wash away.[5] Donald Norman, an academic in the fields of design, usability, and cognitive science, describes cultural constraints, interactions with the system in question that are learned only through culture, that give rise to skeuomorphism. The concept of skeuomorphism overlaps with other design concepts. Physical skeuomorphs[edit] Digital skeuomorphs[edit] Gallery[edit] See also[edit]

Designing products for single and multiplayer modes The first million people who bought VCRs bought them before there were any movies available to watch on them. They just wanted to “time shift” TV shows – what we use DVRs for today. Once there were millions of VCR owners it became worthwhile for Hollywood to start selling and renting movies to watch on them. I was talking to my friend Zach Klein recently who referred to products as having single player and multiplayer modes. Many products that we think of as strictly multiplayer also have single player modes. * Products with so-called networks effects get more valuable when more people use them.

AddToAny - Share Button, Email Button, Subscribe Button The world's #1 product roadmap software | Aha! Design Ideas and Tech Concepts - Toxel.com A Product Manager’s Musings A Product Manager’s Musings A Product Manager is a strange occupation in Silicon Valley. You’re the mini CEO. You’re the jack of all trades but master of none. You’re the one with all the power and yet none at the very same time. You’re the one with all the responsibility and yet have none at the very same time. And truthfully, all of these are true, and none of them are true. Seriously, being a product manager sometimes feels like you’re in some awful Zen koan riddle that you think you found the answer to, but really never do. So I’ve been a SaaS product manager on the Enterprise side now for five years. And at the five year mark, I think I finally understand why. Don’t worry if Engineering hates you. I can’t imagine a relationship more setup from the start to be naturally antagonistic. Engineering automatically see you as the enemy. Why? If you have an Engineering background they see you as meddlesome and annoying. If you don’t, they see you as useless and incompetent. You’re the everything

Yes, great post. Thanks for the welcome by shampa0904 Jan 7

Excellent post indeed - By the way, welcome to Pearltrees by Patrice Jun 15

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