October 5, 2011

Products should be designed to get the job done

I read an article from Harvard Business Review about Marketing Malpractice. In article they say that thirty thousand new consumer products are launched each year. But over 90% of them fail. Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt used to tell his students, "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!".

Thing is marketers often solve the wrong problems, improving their products in ways that are irrelevant to their customers' needs. In my Superior EPG for Connected TVs (I need some name for that...) idea I simply try to solve customers problem choosing what channel to watch when he/she turns on TV. And that's it. Nothing more. But do it in superior way that hasn't been possible before connected TVs. So probably my service won't include social media connectivity, deep search functions, mobile app integration etc. because those are irrelevant to job I'm trying to solve and just make service bloated and more difficult to use.

So I think it's very important to remember products should be designed to do some particular job. To make people's lives easier. And when adding new features you should ask are those features really helping to do this job or actually just making things more difficult.

Business Model Canvas for my idea

Based on the concepts found from Alexander Osterwalder's book Business Model Generation we were supposed to develop a business model canvas for our ideas. So here's business model canvas for my Superior EPG for Connected TVs idea.

(Click on picture to see it larger)

Some further things we were supposed to consider.

Is there growth potential in the field you are in?
  • Whatever people are saying TV watching is all-time high. So TV is far from dead. Truth is it's much more fragmented nowadays because we have more channels.
  • Connected TVs are now niche but 2015 most TVs sold will be connected.
Is there $$ involved? Are your future competitors making money?
  • There's lots of money involved if it's possible become THE PLACE where people first go when they turn on their TVs.
What is the consumer need for the service and how big is your potential market?
  • Consumer need is to have the best and easiest to use EPG on the planet. Potential market is all people who own connected TVs.

October 4, 2011

Another media service idea - EPG that doesn't suck for connected TVs.

Generally EPGs (Electronic Program Guides) suck in televisions. Those are landmark of bad engineer driven user interface design. Why we can't have have great looking visual EPG with information, pictures and videos about TV programs? One reason is that with current technology it's been impossible to transfer anything else than TV programs name, short information and schedule data to EPG. Bad UI design is to blame the TV manufacturers.

Now we're seeing first phase of connected TVs in market. Samsung, Sony, LG and Google all have TV-sets/set top boxes available with internet connection and app framework. So theoretically anyone can create apps for these televisions. By 2015 almost every television sold will be connected.

What if we build superior EPG app for connected televisions? It must be very simple and it's only purpose is to show quickly and visually what's coming at the moment/next from different TV channels. Of course you could also look forward and backward for a week but it'd be targeted especially to what's coming now (+-2 hours) so it could be made visually very attractive.

Even traditional television is nowadays more complex with new channels coming almost monthly. Often when I sit down and turn on TV I have no idea what I'll watch and try to look something interesting from EPG. So If we could make superior EPG that people prefer over television's own text based and boring one it could become huge advertising medium and so on business.