What does fashion mean? Fad is another word for trend. However, unlike a trend, fashion usually fades away, and the trend turns into mass culture. In business, one of the things you’ll notice in the web world is the theme of the latest “technology trends.” In 2012, photo-sharing apps like Instagram were in trend. Trends are very cool, because the media is on your side, investors are ready to invest money, and you can make a lot of money very quickly.
However, the reality is that trends come and go. In every other industry, we call them “fads” (house stones?). Most tech companies that build on trends will only lose because they can’t build a market big enough and fast enough. This winner occupies the entire field. And very often, when it comes to trends, the pioneers (Groupon, Foursquare) end up with all the money, all the media, and all the talent. A very risky idea to build on the trend.
What is fashion and how to avoid it
People think that the meaning of fad only applies to Hollywood or fashion, but it doesn’t. See why most companies fail? Lack of funding? Weak team? Bad marketing practices? Can’t scale? Didn’t find the right product/market? Of course, these are all common reasons why a product might not take off. But most of the time it comes down to a simple idea.
Solve a real problem
There are millions of problems on this planet, some bigger than others, and those problems determine the size of your market. The more people with the problem, the bigger your market. The problem is that you don’t solve the problem at all. It’s quite difficult to build a company without a mission, but this often happens when people create a product based on a trend. When you build with Jack and Jill in mind, you can think about their needs rather than what’s “cool”.
Many people want to start a business to start a business. There is a culture of people who think that being an entrepreneur is really cool or that running a startup is really “attractive”. But if you’re not trying to solve a real problem, you’ll be fired in a year. You’ll quickly learn that firing people, doing legal work, and paying bills isn’t fun. The first key to success is starting a business that solves a problem that you care about so much that you still want to be doing it 10 to 20 years from now.
When you solve a real problem, things become much easier. When you understand that fad means following the trend, not the problem, it becomes much easier to stay relevant. Releasing a product that actually offers a solution where there isn’t one will cover a lot of bugs. People will be willing to ignore things like a mediocre design, some missing features, and a few bugs as long as they need your product. A mediocre product that solves an important problem can outperform a great product that solves a trivial problem.
The function of problem solving comes down to how you present the solution. Creating a sense of culture and community is incredibly important. Too often companies sabotage themselves because they don’t treat their users properly.
Stop Treating Your Users Like Pieces of Data
Metrics are very important for any company. Without users or customers, you have no business. And yes, there are many ways to optimize for such users. Make the signup button red instead of green; create a simple registration process, etc. But after this point, you are no longer dealing with data. Track your users on your website for as long as you like, but once they log in, it all comes down to psychology. What does the user feel while interacting with the product? I will give you an example. I love visiting Etsy. Have I ever sold one item? No. Am I sly? No. So why am I visiting? Etsy has a great sense of design and their users are incredibly passionate. The sense of community on Etsy is what drives it. Is Etsy optimizing their site for this experience? Or of course! But they are focused on delivering positive emotions, which makes for a great product.
Compete in intangible assets
If data is the weapon of choice for large companies, emotions are the weapon of choice for small companies. The best thing you can do is solve a real problem and optimize your product to solve it. These two things lead to only one result, namely the creation of the best possible. an experience for the user. If you optimize your design, culture, and community to suit the needs of your users, you may have a chance to compete right from the start. To be successful, you need to make the user feel good when they come to your site. Just remember who your market is.
Design (meaning visual, structural and copywriting) for Jack & Jill is not an easy task. Creating an image of a normal user walking through the site requires effort. We pay a lot of attention to visual design, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, and Craigslist are not Mona Lisas on the Internet, but they are big companies. They should be well structured, giving the user a psychological sense of “flow”.
Overall, it all comes down to creating real value for real people. If your company has a fantastic mission, people will want to follow it. And if the mission provides an effective solution to an important problem, you’re off to a great start.