Archive for September 2007

Recommended Reading

September 6, 2007

iWoz

It’s the story of an engineer who loves his work and feels ownership in his company. When he got off of work, he still did the same sort of work as a hobby because he simply loved the stuff.

Avid got a similar start. It was Avid Technology, and it certainly was a technology company. I’ve worked for Avid (as the OEM point of contact) for my first 10 years at Pinnacle. I’d say my contribution to Avid’s success is measurable. (Humble me!) Then Avid bought Pinnacle, and I’ve worked for Avid since. Avid really is my company.

But, many of my peers have moved on, and in one fell motion, almost all of my management has moved on. Does new management own the company like Woznaik did? I’m talking about ownership in terms of having the company produce stuff consumers will love. How many individual contributor Wozniaks do we have at the company?

I’m going to renew my effort collaborate with technical staff here at Avid that have that same Wozniak spirit.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

From JoelOnSoftware:

You’ve probably heard the expression “hurry, supplies are limited!” so many times in television advertisements that it hardly registers any more. But it’s there because of the principle of scarcity; your natural assumption that something that is scarce is worth more money.

When charitable organizations send you a request for a donation, they almost always include a “gift” in the envelope. Sticky labels with your address on them. Or a couple of blank greeting cards. The reason they’re giving you the gift is because of the social principle of reciprocity; now you will feel obliged to give something back.

When it comes to downloading free software, however, a complementary effect can occur. The user can associate little or no value to the software. Download and forget it. Or download and never upgrade.

Something that can be done to alleviate this is to instill a little desire in the user. Maybe even cause a sort of buyer’s remorse, in the sense that they grow to really want the upgraded product. To do that, we’d need to show them how awesome the free download is, but that the purchased product is even far more awesome. That only works if you show them how.

Give them a workflow, and then improve it.

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