Monday, November 24, 2008

Worth Paying For?

Earlier this year, I asked someone -- whose judgment I deem to be impeccable -- what he thought of Office 2K7. He said that it was an excellent product. Then I asked him a very different question... Is it worth buying... with your own money? I wasn't surprised when he said no.

And therein lies a most important matter. In uncertain times, decision makers must take a critical view of every proposition. The ultimate leverage point is value. There are many great products being released and marketed. But unless they contribute to revenue or can demonstrate actual cost reductions, then consumers (commercial and personal) won't spend real money on them. To state it a different way... there's a big difference between being willing to use a service and being willing to buy a service.

What kinds of services will be vulnerable? Here's my list:
  • Instant Messaging - mobile and non-mobile
  • Business oriented social networks
  • Blogging - writing and reading
  • Fantasy Sports support

When times are good, and people don't feel like their income stream is at risk, then they may consider paying for these kinds of services. For now, though, they are definitely useful, but they likely don't currently make anybody's "indispensable" list.

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