Yahoo 360 and Fairy Tales

The book called “Don’t make me think” makes a lot of sense. This post is to help me write down some of the important points the book’s conveyed to me.

Part of Yahoo 360′s success boils down to these things:

  1. Users don’t figure out how it works, they muddle through. The other Vietnamese users don’t think like us. They don’t judge the service. They use it through trials and errors. It worked, so they liked it and kept using it. The language barrier didn’t count because users were able to find out where things were and how to perform a particular task like composing an entry, updating their blasts, or leaving quick comments.
  2. Users don’t make optimal choices, they satisfice (satisfy and suffice). Yahoo 360 is not that excellent service we’ve always wanted to enjoy. It’s not as fancy as Facebook. But, it satisfies the common needs of other people satisfactorily: express themselves and make friends with others. This is important for any kind of products, as long as you caters to a need, there’s always a demand for you. And as long as it can satisfy that need well enough, it doesn’t have to be the greatest of its breed.
  3. Users, once find what works, sticks to it. No matter how badly it works for them. So that explains why a lot of people, including me, are still on Yahoo 360 (less time spent though). Because it works. And even though there have been tons of discussions and suggestions on other platforms that work way better than Y!360, people don’t move that massively. They got stuck willingly. I doubt if Cyworld, Facebook, or Friendster will stand a chance if Yahoo don’t abandon 360.

So, if we use these three criteria to judge Yahoo 360, I think it’s a great product.

Then comes the fairy tales part, you may wonder. No, Yahoo 360 was not a fair tale by Yahoo. It spread because Yahoo Mail and Messenger basically ruled the market here and that kind of marketing ruled, twice. Had it not been for these two dominant services, I don’t think Y!360 would spread that far.

The belief that a good product spreads itself, and the Internet is a place where WOM can take you as far as you want, is basically flawed. It heavliy relies on a lot of other factors.

And viral marketing doesn’t happen that often.

Oh, btw, I think this “Startups in 13 sentence” is kinda cool, check it out: http://www.paulgraham.com/13sentences.html

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