Great Products Do Three Things….

2 Mar

Yahoo! is a complex place to build products, and I recall early in my tenure trying to focus our Media and Information Division on three core objectives that would be clear, undebatable and useful in building better consumer products.

I won’t go into the details of how we got there (although that’s an interesting story). But get there, we did. And we believed then, as I do today, that a great product:

1. Saves customers’ time.

2. Saves customers’ money.

3. Delights customers in new ways.

Seems simple? Well, in my experience this is far easier to say than it is to do.

I am reminded of this today because after some very hard work, the WHERE team (full disclosure: I am a board member) has launched a feature called Placebook in its new location-based app build that does all three. And thank heavens, because the pain relieved by this new release is large and longstanding.

Placebook is a constantly updatable ‘Rolodex’ of your (and your friends) favorite spots. You can use it on your IPhone. You can access it on the web. (They sync)! And you can FORGET having to REMEMBER all those names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

You might be wondering “what’s the excitement?” Please let me answer that, from a personal POV.

Have you ever had the experience of knowing that the restaurant you love, in a city you visit frequently, is just around the corner somewhere. But you can’t recall the address, or exactly the route to get there, or even the restaurant’s name? Frustrating? Time-wasting? Totally useless?

The problem is solved. Go to a restaurant, or any favorite spot. Click once in the WHERE app to store it to your Placebook. Click again to give it a rating. And from now on, you can simply forget about having to remember. Once stored, your profile and Placebook will remember for you.

Now, the WHERE guys are not the first folks to think of this. There are countless listing and reviews services. There are competitors. Once upon a time there was a clever startup called Vindigo that did something similar. It was useful, too.

But Placebook is a big step forward, right now.

Of course, simply building such great features as Placebook are no guarantee in and of themselves of a huge business success. Building better products is simply a gating issue that allows successful companies onto the battlefield that will determine their ultimate ability to go from ‘Good to Great’ as Jim Collins puts it.

But it is a great start to have a great product, filled with useful features. And — on behalf of busy, forgetful people all over, thank you to the WHERE team for solving this particular problem.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Great Products Do Three Things….”

  1. Jody March 3, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    Ok Craig, it’s Jody. Just read about this, and it sounds WONDERFUL !! Is it something I can put on my Blackberry now ?? Or I have to wait ?? Or what. Sounds great. Just let me kno.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Creating Sustainable Online Revenue and Profit Growth « Craig Forman’s Blog - November 5, 2010

    […] start at the beginning: In recent posts, I have discussed the importance of saving users’ time, money and delighting customers when […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: