In today’s hyper fast market, new products often don’t get a second chance to introduce themselves. When developing a new app, service or product, what are the keys to connect instantly with an audience? And in this crowded market, what is the unbeatable advantage when two products go head-to-head?
A good recent example is Instagram vs. Snapchat. Both have similar audiences that crave instant visual content, but their delivery methods differed enough to keep them in distinct categories. Now with the introduction of Instagram Stories , the two apps are on a collision course.
The question now becomes not “who was first?” but “who is best?”
First is a personal achievement. The market may marvel at the accomplishment, but that admiration is secondary. Best is about seeing the available solution and tailoring it so that everyone can benefit. Google Glass is a perfect example of first thinking, offering something technologically advanced but with little or no value beyond the spectacle. Instead of forcing users into unfamiliar territory, best seamlessly integrates new paths, new ways of thinking and new achievements into everyday life.
What’s truly inspiring is when thinking best can actually lead you to first achievements. Many thought that Facebook was just another social media platform when it arrived. But where MySpace and Friendster used usernames and alias, Facebook got people to use their real names online because they understood that people wanted to share with their real life friends. It was a new way of thinking about an established concept and changed how people identify themselves online forever.
There is no medal for being first in business. A mention in Mashable is never the goal. You must always design with the customer in mind if you want to have truly sustained success. That success comes from Best-first thinking.
So what are the keys to Best-First Thinking?
Design for the masses, not the niche.
Often new products target early adopters. But these users are often more adept at navigating the unfamiliar. It can be harder for developers to gauge if their products are confusing or produce clunky experiences. Testing with regular users and focusing on a simple, pure execution of the idea will be impactful across all audiences.
Know when to strike and know how hard to hit.
Every piece of technology has a key saturation point to reach before the public is ready, but what’s also important is just how much of the technology you need. While there have been more complicated and engaging AR experiences created in the past few years, PokémonGo has eclipsed them all with a fairly simple AR platform and a more engaging idea. It’s a good reminder that innovating isn’t always about turning it up to eleven.
Keep your idea agile.
It’s important to have a core concept that can move across mediums. You cannot build a product that can only work in one specific place or one specific way. For example, Uber is not an app based service or a text-message-based service, it’s about instantly bringing services to wherever you are. Once you have an agile idea you can easily spread across whatever technologies connect best with consumers.
In business, the differences between first, second and last are minute. But there is no referee to give you a second chance, the users and the market decide who wins. To truly launch a product that leads its category from the get go, your focus should be on what’s best for the audience.