Jiva Technology

Propositioning your market

We work in an industry that’s notorious for obsessing about all things hot and new. Hot new start-ups, hot new products, hot new technologies. If it wasn’t for the fact that how is already taken and hoew is hard to say, the popularity of hot-new would have spawned a portmanteau word by now (aside: I prefer the new term, wurjing to portmantau).

So you’d be on fairly safe ground if you assumed that hot, new products were the bedrock of success for the technology industry, right?

Wrong. With the rash of hot new IPOs hitting the exchanges in the last few months, I thought it was a good time to remind ourselves what, since time immemorial, has been the secret sauce in the most successful start ups. I’m sensing that I have your attention .. how do I incorporate a drum roll into WordPress? Anyway (no drum roll roll), the single thing that has made Google, Apple et all the companies they are today is not the quality of their products (good as they are), it’s the quality of their propositions. A proposition is an expression of the product offering in terms of value to a typical customer. I’ve heard it described as ‘the promise’. Google wasn’t about algorithms and Pageranks. It was about, faster, more relevant search results to you and I and about selling stuff to everyone else. Apple isn’t about music players and laptops, shiny as they are. It’s about being cool, urban, hip and easy. I’m an Apple user, when I go back to Microsoft, I always think the same thing, “wow, this is hard”. Hard isn’t such a great selling proposition.

The product (or service for that matter) is what delivers on your promise – it’s what makes your proposition come to life. What the technology industry has been uniquely good at is bringing to life whole new propositions that no one had thought of before and then making them so relevant that you wondered how you survived before. Mobile phones are’nt just phones that are mobile. Smartphones are not just phones that are mobile that are smart. They’re a whole new proposition. With them, I can do things I could never do before.




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