This essay reviews the fundamentals of a maturing software and hardware marketplace. As feature parity is increasingly the norm, or as competitors use brute force engineering to quickly replicate any advantage or apparent advantage of a competitor, the user experience represents the final frontier at overcoming user inertia.
Three key factors are identified and discussed around five basic observations:
- Superior experience can overwhelm fewer features and late market entry
- Raw functionality is too pervasive and too easily replicated to be much of a differentiator
- User experience increases ‘stickiness’, raising switching costs
- User experience doesn’t drive all markets and product categories: timing is key
- New users demand easy value demonstrations