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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

This is a quiz. Just like the SATs/GREs/ACTs, first we have the story, then the questions to see if you are paying attention:

Let's say I have a product that has a feature that a large segment of the market needs. Let's add to this scenario that there is no other product that can fill the particular need as well. There are competing offerings, but none will work as well, all will cost more to purchase than I will sell mine for, and all will cost the customer more to maintain and manage than using my product. Being a poor historian I remember the bit of wisdom erroneously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door." (it was actually coined by Elbert Hubbard seven years after Emerson's death as something Mr. Emerson might have said if he had thought of it). Taking that sentiment to heart I post a note in my BLOG, announce the product on my product's Facebook Wall and LinkedIn page and wait for the sales to roll in.

When that doesn't work I hire some new sales people, move others from other products, and shuffle a successful sales leader from another product line over to head up a "SWAT Team" to go talk to all of my existing customers and try to get them to start using this peachy feature so I can generate some PR success stories about them that might prompt new customers to take a look at my product and this nifty feature.

Question 1:
The most likely outcome of this scenario is:
a. I will sell thousands of new licenses for my product in just weeks.
b. I may get a few existing customers to begin using this neat feature, but it will generate no new net licenses.
c. Nothing.

Answer: [ ]

Question 2:
The best word to describe me as a business man is:
a. Entrepreneur
b. Genius
c. Market leader.
d. Idiot

Answer: [ ]

Question 3:
The response from existing customers to my efforts to get them to use the nifty feature will likely be:
a. "Hey, this is really cool and fast and saves storage too! Thanks! When can I shoot my PR video?"
b. "Dude! We don't do that kind of stuff here, so I have no need for this nifty feature. Sorry."
c. "I know all about this feature, have for years. Don't need it. Go away!"

Answer: [ ]