Monday, October 17, 2011


If you clicked the link to this post thinking that I was going to be talking motor oil or sexual aids, I'm going to disappoint.

As my colleague, Eric Swayne (@eswayne), likes to say: social media is not doing anything new, it reduces the friction for something that people already do.  It's a great barometer for the usefulness and value for many mobile or digital projects.  Does this reduce the friction?  Substantially?  Was there no friction to begin with?  That's probably a sign that you are not solving a real problem.

I think its a great barometer for a lot of what we do in digital and mobile marketing.  What friction are we reducing?  I was using an online ordering site for a restaurant the other night, and it took me 10 minutes to enter an order, for what takes less than 1 minute to do by phone.  The implementation on the site was pretty, but it was clearly inefficient.  It added friction, and I likely won't go back again.

The friction of finding, flipping through, and locating the number in the yellow pages became a barrier when it was easier to find the phone number of a local business on the computer.  Now, it's even easier to find it on my mobile.  Apple implements Siri on the iPhone 4S, and if it works, it will become even easier to find that same phone number.  Smaller digital friction coefficient.

Just like electricity, people will choose the path of least resistance.  What's your product's digital friction coefficient?

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