Saturday, September 15, 2007

Alarm Clocks, Coffee, and Enterprises

It's Saturday. My alarm clock woke me up at its regularly scheduled time. It's earlier than necessary, but I don't dare turn it off on weekends, lest I forget to turn it back on for Monday morning.

So I'm up early on a Saturday. It's a good time to make a pot of coffee and read some blogs. One of the articles I read this morning was Alarm clocks, by Seth Godin.

In his article he posts some thoughts on why products often lack the features most people actually want to buy. His comments center around the idea that alarm clocks should be capable of differentiating between weekdays and weekends.

This catches my attention. I grab a cup of coffee.

He attributes the problem to the idea that people are too busy doing their jobs to create compelling products. (I'm paraphrasing - his article is worth a read to get his version)

Despite the coffee, I'm foggy from rising early on this cloudy Oregon morning. My mind starts to explore the topic of why products often fail to meet our true needs and desires. This warrants another cup of coffee.

The problem of creating compelling products is obviously not limited to external products. My current interests lean in the area of improving the ability for IT to create compelling products and services. It's all in the same problem space.

Seth lists one reason compelling products tend not to get created. I think we can expand this a bit.

  • Too busy
  • Too myopic
  • Too skeptical
  • Too apathetic
  • Too scared
Which items in this list contribute to the problem in your organization?

I might not have written this article if my alarm clock had a weekend feature. On the other hand, it might not have been necessary.

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