Friday, September 12, 2008

Feature-list or elegance? and Print

There's a lot of talk in our industry about "one-stop shop" and printers being "solution providers" or "communication providers". We're told that we have to learn the web, and buzz marketing, and ... the feature-list can get pretty long.

I don't think that makes sense for most printers, most of the time. Instead of learning a little about more things, focus on learning more about less things.

Think Google, instead of Yahoo.

Strip out all irrelevant costs by stripping out all irrelevant features. Eventually you will get to the thing that is easy for you and hard for someone else. Find the someone else's who are willing to give you money for what you can do faster, better, cheaper than your competition. Become an "elegant one-trick pony."

And if your customer needs something that you don't do, network with someone who does do it - very, very well. And stop worrying about how much to "mark it up" or "will the customer find a new contact" or "who will own the customer." The days of "owning" customers is long gone. There's a longer story in here about Printing Brokers. But that's for another day.

I found this article in the New York Times.(I hunt,gather and talk on the web. But close reading needs paper. So sorry, you'll have to google it yourself if you want to see it the whole thing and go for the $1.50 if you want paper.) The article is titled Nontechies, This One's for You. The writer is David Pogue. You can find it on page C1 and it jumps to Page 8 of the Business Day section, on Thursday, September 11.

Mr. Pogue writes: consumer technology, (there are two kinds of people) features-listers/elegance appreciators.

Feature -listers judge a product by one criterion: how many features it has, no matter how clunky the design. ...Eleganc-appreciators, on the other hand, prefer something that does less, but does it better.

Make way for another elegant one-trick pony: a pocket-size doodad called the Peek, which sends and receives emails.

...It will follow the usual cycle of simple, elegant techn products. 1) universal scorn by feature-listers online; 2) quiet, gradual popular acceptance by normal people 3) bafflement on the part of the feature-listers, who still don't get that there are two kinds of people in the world.

. . .It costs $100 and $20 a month for unlimited email services. . . .Each charge of the removable battery lasts two to five days. . . . The first time you turn on the Peek, you're asked for you e-mail address and password.
Then you start getting your email to your shirt pocket. Less really is more.

No comments:

Post a Comment