TOTD 2018-6-17: Working With Human Nature

Isn’t the essence of the free market giving people want they want? The company that succeeds is the one that meets not only needs but wants. Why is that? “Man does not live by bread alone.” There is more to life than meeting basic needs. People don’t just want functionality. They want form too. It is a beautiful thing when someone works with human nature and not against it for they succeed.

Adam Smith was able to capture that while people were helping themselves they were helping others. People will pay for a better service and stop paying for a poor service. People will switch from a Model T to a GM product because they want something different. You know what they call a slow animal in the wild. Lunch. A person who can’t work with reality fast enough loses. Their product suffers.

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3 thoughts on “TOTD 2018-6-17: Working With Human Nature”

  1. 10 Cents:
    You know what they call a slow animal in the wild. Lunch. A person who can’t work with reality fast enough loses. Their product suffers.

    Companies that fail are often those which originally succeeded by perceiving a new need or desire that others were not addressing, but then came to believe that they knew the customers’ needs better than the customers themselves.  Often this is coupled with a static view of the market that does not take into account the fact that customers’ preferences change over time (sometimes, simply out of boredom) and that the competitive landscape constantly shifts (if not blocked by monopoly power, often with government coercion to blame).

    One diagnostic I use to spot companies ready for a fall is their using the word “consumer” for the people who buy their products rather than “customer”.  A consumer is a passive economic player who consumes what the company produces.  A customer is an active participant in the market who can and will go elsewhere if other vendors better satisfy their requirements.

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  2. John Walker:

    10 Cents:
    You know what they call a slow animal in the wild. Lunch. A person who can’t work with reality fast enough loses. Their product suffers.

    Companies that fail are often those which originally succeeded by perceiving a new need or desire that others were not addressing, but then came to believe that they knew the customers’ needs better than the customers themselves.  Often this is coupled with a static view of the market that does not take into account the fact that customers’ preferences change over time (sometimes, simply out of boredom) and that the competitive landscape constantly shifts (if not blocked by monopoly power, often with government coercion to blame).

    One diagnostic I use to spot companies ready for a fall is their using the word “consumer” for the people who buy their products rather than “customer”.  A consumer is a passive economic player who consumes what the company produces.  A customer is an active participant in the market who can and will go elsewhere if other vendors better satisfy their requirements.

    I wonder how much of a product is substance and how much is image. People buy both. I think Steve Jobs brought back Apple on having cool looking computers but not better substantially. Other companies went for drab square boxes.

    Where do you see the change from customer to consumer? Company reports?

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  3. 10 Cents:
    I think Steve Jobs brought back Apple on having cool looking computers but not better substantially.

    Jobs did emphasize form above all else but what made him genius is that he created products that the world never thought they needed: iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.

    He was famous for quoting, “People don’t know what they want. That’s our job.” He was never interested in customer surveys; he focused upon what he thought was new and innovative. Even his retail stores were different.

    He paid a severe price for this in the early days but ultimately triumphed.

    He is the true definition of an entrepreneur.

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