Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Err in favor of users

Andy Hunt and  Dave Thomas  once wrote a debit card transaction switch. A major requirement was that the user of a debit card shouldn't have the same transaction applied to their account twice. In other words, no matter what sort of failure mode might happen, the error should be on the side of not processing a transaction rather than processing a duplicate transaction. So, they wrote it on their shared whiteboard in big letters: Err in favor of users.

It joined about half-a-dozen other maxims. Jointly, these guided all those tricky decisions you make while building something complex. Together, these laws gave our application strong internal coherence and great external consistency.

Source -Dave Thomas, The Pragmatic Programmers

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Don’t follow the leader

Marketers (and all human beings) are well trained to follow the leader. The natural instinct is to figure out what’s working for the competition and then try to outdo it – to be cheaper than your competitor who competes on price, or faster than the competitor who competes on speed. 

The problem is that once a consumer has bought someone else’s story and believes that lie, persuading the consumer to switch is the same as persuading him to admit he was wrong. And people hate admitting that they’re wrong.
Instead, you must tell a different story and persuade listeners that your story is more important than the story they currently believe.

If your competition is faster, you must be cheaper. If they sell the story of health, you must sell the story of convenience. Not just the positioning x/y axis sort of “We are cheaper” claim, but a real story that is completely different from the story that’s already being told.

Inspired by(Getting Real 37signals.com)