A few after thoughts: Today in class we talked about Decision Making, Bounded Rationality and Framing. I think the story in the lecture is a great illustration of Framing and the inertia of our current thoughts. Instead of thinking about the best product that will satisfy everybody we should be looking for the best product that will satisfy groups of everybody (the last sentence is not a mistake. You need to see the lecture to understand it).
People don’t always know what they want. So much of marketing thinking is built on the premises that if we only ask our customers what they want, they will tell us. What the story behind the lecture teaches us is that although asking the customers what they want might be a good idea, sometimes we just need to create something that they will want. I don’t know about you, but if a few years ago somebody would have asked me what do I want my cell phone to do, there is no way I would have said: “Oh, you know what, I want it to react to movements when I move it around so I can play games with it”. I don’t know it for a fact, but I think the people at apple just put that quality into the iphone without people telling them that is what they want. And that is a one great quality for a product. That is a way to make it a purple cow.
We should always remember – people are unique. They want different things. They have different thoughts. It is true for marketing and it is true for management. If we treat people the same by giving them the average we get average results. The future is in the extremes. Going for the average is not safe. It is the riskiest business there could be.
People talk a lot about the fact that globalization leads to standardization. I don’t think so. What we discover is that there are no universal answers. We discover that standardization does not always work. Because people are different. They can be clustered into groups, but they cannot be standardized. Think about the music industry. Has the global network created more or less music? It is true that globalization does help some of the big players, but the internet makes diversity flourish (just check myspace if you don’t believe me).