Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Respond - and respond fast - or die

Jeff Jarvis writes about Steve Jobs decision to give cash back (well, $100 to spend with Apple) to i-rate i-phone buyers when they heard he'd slashed the price of the phone-that-you-must-own.

The early adopters felt hard done by.

In the past Apple would have made its 'go-for-bulk' price cut with adding to the customer-numbers heap in mind.

It would take a considerable time (and quite possibly a serious slump in early adopters for the next product) before the company would discover how much it had annoyed its most fervent advocates (and you'll appreciate the huge damage beating up on your advocates can do).

Now Jobs hears the blogging buzz, the forum feedback, moments after he makes the announcement. The credit cash back must go hand in hand.

Jeff is right to point out that speed is the essential difference. I think of the recent HSBC case re overdraft charges for students and the facebook group that self-formed at lightning speed.

Students were always able to organise to protest. Now they can do it in an instant.
Critically, they now have a way of reaching people with a shared interest or purpose immediately, too.

Most of the students who were impacted by the HSBC decision had left university and were dispersed. Facebook meant they could be reassembled.

There’s a story about Noel Edmunds returning to a stint on radio recently. He was told the most important screen to watch was the one showing text messages from listeners.
In seconds the first one came in: “Get that beardy tw*t off the radio!”.
He commented it used to take a week to get feedback like that, in listeners letters. Now it’s immediate.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?