Sunday, November 13, 2005

Grassroots Adoption

Grassroots Adoption, Much Harder than it appears
A minor point in R. Ozzie’s article/letter to the MSFT employees, is something that I strongly agree with.

But enabling grassroots adoption is not just a product design issue.

Today's web is fundamentally a self-service environment, and it is critical to design websites and product 'landing pages' with sophisticated closed-loop measurement and feedback systems.

  • Even startups use such techniques in conjunction with pay-per-click advertisements.

  • This ensures that the most effective website designs will be selected to attract discovery of products and services, help in research and learning, facilitate download, trial and purchase, and to enable individuals' self-help and making recommendations to others.


For context, here is the entire article, with some of my comments:
A Shift in the Software Landscape (based on R. Ozzie’s 11/05 CNET article)
The consumer shift is changing
  • How software is being monetized,

  • How software is delivered, and

  • What kind of software is ultimately embraced.
Today there are three key tenets that are driving fundamental shifts in the landscape
all of which are related in some way to services.

But enabling grassroots adoption is not just a product design issue.

Today's web is fundamentally a self-service environment, and it is critical to design websites and product 'landing pages' with sophisticated closed-loop measurement and feedback systems.

  • Even startups use such techniques in conjunction with pay-per-click advertisements.

  • This ensures that the most effective website designs will be selected to attract discovery of products and services, help in research and learning, facilitate download, trial and purchase, and to enable individuals' self-help and making recommendations to others.

Ray Ozzie's Key Tenet

1. The power of the advertising-supported economic model.
Online advertising has emerged as a significant new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services.
In some cases, it may be possible for one to obtain more revenue through the advertising model than through a traditional licensing model.

Only in its earliest stages, no one yet knows the limits of what categories of hardware, software and services, in what markets, will ultimately be funded through this model.
And no one yet knows how much of the world's online advertising revenues should or will flow to large software and service providers, medium sized or tail providers, or even users themselves.

2. The effectiveness of a new delivery and adoption model.
A grassroots technology adoption pattern has emerged on the internet largely in parallel to the classic methods of selling software to the enterprise.

Products are now discovered through a combination of
  • blogs,

  • search keyword-based advertising,

  • online product marketing and

  • word-of-mouth.

It's now expected that anything discovered can be sampled and experienced through self-service exploration and download.

dbs comments: There is nothing stopping the Microsofts, Yahoos or Googles from capitalizing on this model. In fact, they could even "stealthily" or even directly go after these. They have the advertising money to fund them on the other side as well. If there is a return, these properties/development ways to go to market could show both an ROI in new and different ways right out of the box.

Limited trial use, ad-monetized or free reduced-function use, subscription-based use, on-line activation, digital license management, automatic update, and other such concepts are now entering the vocabulary of any developer building products that wish to successfully utilize the web as a channel.

Products must now embrace a "discover, learn, try, buy, recommend" cycle –
Sometimes with one of those phases being
  • Free,

  • Another ad-supported,

  • And yet another being subscription-based.

Grassroots adoption requires an end-to-end perspective related to product design.

  • Products must be easily understood by the user upon trial, and useful out-of-the-box with little or no configuration or administrative intervention.

  • But enabling grassroots adoption is not just a product design issue.

  • Today's web is fundamentally a self-service environment, and it is critical to design websites and product 'landing pages' with sophisticated closed-loop measurement and feedback systems.

  • Even startups use such techniques in conjunction with pay-per-click advertisements.

  • This ensures that the most effective website designs will be selected to attract discovery of products and services, help in research and learning, facilitate download, trial and purchase, and to enable individuals' self-help and making recommendations to others.

  • Such systems can recognize and take advantage of opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell products to individuals, workgroups and businesses, and also act as a lead generation front-end for our sales force and for our partners.

3. The demand for compelling, integrated user experiences that "just work"
The PC has morphed into new form factors and new roles, and we increasingly have more than one in our lives – at work, at home, laptops, tablets, even in the living room. Cell phones have become ubiquitous. There are a myriad of handheld devices. Set-top boxes, PVRs and game consoles are changing what and how we watch television. Photos, music and voice communications are all rapidly going digital and being driven by software. Automobiles are on a path to become smart and connected. The emergence of the digital lifestyle that utilizes all these technologies is changing how we learn, play games, watch TV, communicate with friends and family, listen to music and share memories.

But the power of technology also brings with it a cost. For all the success of individual technologies, the array of technology in a person's life can be daunting. Increasingly, individuals choose products and services that are highly-personalized, focused on the end-to-end experience delivered by that technology. Products must deliver a seamless experience, one in which all the technology in your life 'just works' and can work together, on your behalf, under your control. This means designs centered on an intentional fusion of internet-based services with software, and sometimes even hardware, to deliver meaningful experiences and solutions with a level of seamless design and use that couldn't be achieved without such a holistic approach.

1 Comments:

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