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the market of one

Tangentially related to my previous post, in terms of usage patterns, context, and so on, I was thinking of this notion I call "the market of one".

The market of one is... yourself. You (in theory at least:)) have the best insights on what drives you and not, what you like about something, use patterns, etc. It is the "eat your own dog food" concept but with some insight applied, and only for one person.

The market of one seems crucial to me when either a) your organization is small (large companies being able to create focus groups, commission marketing studies, etc, and then being able to survive massive failures of product lines) or b) when you're doing something completely new (when focus groups aren't much help--people generally react badly to the unknown).

It's not just using what you're creating, but also asking yourself: how much am I using it? Does it satisfy my needs? Why, or why not? And so on.

When the product doesn't exist, it is, I think, the "standard way of thinking." We project ourselves and our own needs and based on that we evaluate whether we think something's good or not. For example, a lot of the disagreement over web-on-mobiles usage mentioned in the previous post comes from people transparently applying their own use-cases to what they think the product is, and then extrapolating from there.

I use this idea all the time when thinking about a product, or when designing it. But I think I haven't been as consistent in applying it during and after development, when reality takes over the grand designs that are in my head.

Somehow, I think that I keep seeing the product that I know it will eventually be, rather than what it is today. That future-vision can become harmful if it blinds you to the problems that exist today. Something to pay more attention to in the future.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on November 18 2004 at 11:30 AM

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