July 17th, 2006
Jeff Jarvis and Amanda Chapel (aka Strumpette) are going at it over the Dell issue and in the process are stirring up such a heavy cloud of ideology that it’s hard to get your bearings. I thought it was worth trying to boil it down to some simpler, less ideologically-colored observations and lessons:
- Companies used to be able to get away with making crappy products and offering crappy services because they were able to mass market people into submission and because consumers didn’t have a way to make their unhappiness widely known.
- Thanks to the proliferation of content (both “professional” and “consumer-generated”) and content channels, mass media and thus mass marketing are now dead, so there is no longer an effective way to sell crappy products and services.
- Through blogs, video sharing, and other platforms for cheap content creation and distribution, individual consumers now have a powerful way to spread the word on crappy products and services on a large scale.
The lessons for companies:
1. Make better products and offer better services, or your business will likely suffer.
2. If you make mistakes, listen to your customers and fix the mistakes.
There it is a nutshell, without a single “ism.”