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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

The real product life cycle

When what you are building has no alternative in the market, you need to make it really worthwhile for people to start using your product. Let's face it. It takes a tantalizing offer to jerk people off their inertial frames and to give your product a try.

When you get the initial set of adventurers to try your product, which is untested in the market and doesn't really have any reputation to go by, your only task is to delight them. To give them such a wonderful experience that they talk about your product (positively) to ten others.

When they talk to ten others about your product, more people will turn up looking for (you think they will come looking for your product? Forget it!) the experience described by those initial users. At this point, your only task is to live up to the expectation. This is where packaging comes in. The ones that come later are impatient. They are not seeking your product. They are not willing to go through any pain to get to your product. They are willing to drop the idea and go try one of the hundred others that they have been told about, at the first sign of disappointment. So put your product in fancy wrapping, offer attractive discounts, or get celebrities talking about your product. Create that sense of expectation to match what your early users have done for you. And repeat it.

Creating the expectation isn't the end of it. A competitor may be able to create even more expectation, even more hype and draw customers to their product. But only for a short time. Once the real experience with the product happens, the customers either respect you for living up to that expectation and turn loyal, or hate you for creating an expectation that you knew you couldn't live up to. Here, your task is to set good enough expectation to draw customers and a product experience to make their effort worth it.

The moment you fail to do what you are supposed to at any of the steps, your product will have its death knell sounded.

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