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Friday, 13 March, 2009

Successful Products have Life - an Energy Theory

Robin's first hello

Do successful products have "life" ?

I know this might sound crazy but let's explore the possibilities.

Life can be defined by an "energy" that enables an object to have the unique capacity to act on its surroundings, react to it, connect to-and-between other objects around it and facilitate and enable that environment, besides of course the ability to grow and reproduce. Some attribute this life-energy to a higher spirit, others to a God, many others to ambivalence and still others to nothing.

Successful products do all of the above, either in a positive or a negative sense.

Starting with the guys who germinate the product idea, to the ones who incubate it, to its eventual audience/users and its environment - all of them contribute to this "life" in the product. It is all these people and the environment who bring into it this energy.

Bringing this energy into a product is not easy. Each contributor needs to channelize a lot of their own energy into the product before it can spring into life. That is why only a handful of products succeed.

Why Products Fail?

Too many people get into building a product without this energy, concentrating on putting the superficial building blocks (features) together, without focusing on the energy within. The result is similar to an anatomical construction of the human body without life in it. Inevitably, an energy-less construction and then a post-construction effort to blow life into the product doesn't do much to bring it to life.

The Success Formula (Duh !!)

Investors will tell you that they don't just evaluate a product, they evaluate the people behind it, before they invest in it. And, they do so very rightly. Right from ideation to construction, release and beyond, the people behind and then around the product conjure together their cumulative energies to bring it to life. You need the idea generators and germinators to bring in their vision and passion, the constructors to work out the details, the magical "conductor-like" product manager to orchestrate this incubation and bring it to release. Finally, you need the audience/users to bless the new-born into acknowledgment, existence and growth. Once grown, the mature product will use the energy of its environment to spawn and encourage other ideas and products to grow from it and reproduce beyond.

Does this theory that successful products have life, matter?

This construct brings out the importance of the vision, passion and persistent energy required to bring a product to life and make it successful.

Life, as always, is a metaphor. It can also be the truth.

Look around and you will see successful products around that live successfully. The tech industry is abound with examples like Google, Amazon, eBay and now Twitter which have sprung to life and are successful.

(Photo Credit: pleasantpointinn, Flickr)

1 comment:

Anand Raj said...

Hi Saumitri - This energy is the single most important aspect of building a business. Any business has to make meaning to someone in this world. The passion to make a difference in someone's life represents this energy as well. Commercial aspects are important to make it possible, but unfortunately, sometimes, entrepreneurs gets too focused on the commercial aspects and don't tap onto this energy to create value. This energy combined with intellectual honesty and courage enables us to build successful businesses.

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