Develop An Experience, Not A Product


My 3-year-old daughter uses my iPhone to play music videos and YouTube videos and has not touched a PC (or better, a Mac) yet. With the same content available on either she’s seen me operate my Mac and looks over my shoulder now and then but finds all the keys and even the “Magic-mouse” complicated. User experience is more important to her than sheer processing power. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Nintendo anyone?

What I see in so many early business plans today is the old-fashioned notion of deep technology expertise, something most traditional investors still harp on. I see too many BMW engines being developed without attention being paid to the development of The Ultimate Driving Experience┬«. True, you can’t build the driving experience without great engines, but BMW, like no other vendor, understands that the total experience is the selling point. In the end, technology will become commoditized, and its differentiation will be determined by the way it interacts with content, media, social network, end-users to create a well-designed user experience.

Apple is another company that understands that focus on user experience very well. Its products are a piece of art, its function (to a novice) is at least competitive. Buying a Mac is an experience, and so is using it. A much better experience than buying a PC in every way. The box your Mac comes is even a work of art, the way it folds open, the new materials, everything builds to the experience. As a customer, you feel special, owning an iPod with your name engraved on it and all your music in it. And that is what Apple customers are buying into: feeling special and appreciated. Attention paid to you!

Now every market segment has its definition of user experience, so don’t do what Apple does before you understand how you can differentiate. But every software, service, or content vendor should consider building a unique customer experience that in the end – sells more. It’s a CEO level responsibility because it involves making sizable investments in complementary areas, not just a marketing ploy. The days of only selling speeds and feeds of a product are over.



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Georges van Hoegaerden
Georges van Hoegaerden
Georges is the Founder and Managing Director of method41. From analyzing the workings of policy, capital, and innovation, Georges noticed how these siloed constructs are woefully incompatible with the principles nature deploys to produce regenerative performance. With humanity stuck in a fabric of its own making, Georges set out to reinvent the operating-systems of humanity to fix the theory that determines what humanity can discover, aiming to fundamentally improve human adaptability to nature's entropy.
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