Monday, January 14, 2008

Develop for Everyone

When you envision your products and who will use them, do you take into account how much technology your users may have at their disposal? Are you relying on social networks to carry the brunt of your “marketing” efforts? These questions came to mind when I was at the Web Innovator’s Group Small Dinner, “The Secrets of Social Network Platforms” last week.

As I heard TripAdvisor and Stylefeeder talk about “initial user reactions”, “fun vs. utility”, and “growing users”; I started to wonder if this data could be skewed, seeing that most of their marketing efforts were targeted at Facebook users.

Social network users are not average technology users, I believe them to be medium to high tech users; those with mobile phones, mobile web access, heavy texters, who use multiple web applications and most importantly, have an ear to new products as they are discussed within a social network.

If you are using social networks to carry most of your product message and are only creating products that require users to have a heavy technology understanding, aren’t you leaving out potential users?

When you are creating your next product, don’t leave out those who are unfamiliar with social networking or technology. Create products that you and your mom use because when you build for everyone, it only increases the chances your product will reach critical mass sooner vs. later.

What kinds of products do you think could/would accomplish this?


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