Luck is a key feature in business and in life.
When you listen to podcasts of people who haves struck fortunes in business, the one recurring theme is luck. Had that particular meeting not taken place, had they not met that particular person, it would have never happened.
At times luck also plays a key role in marketing and product development.
So much so, that sometimes we should play along with it and let the market decide what our product/service/app/feature is best suited for.
This is the exact opposite of the over-rational and numerical approach, where the marketer tries to boil the ocean empty and measure or pre-assess every single product and market feature.
There are very simply two schools of though on the matter.
Those who are convinced that we can elicit hidden needs from our customers simply by asking them in a smart way, and those who believe the customer does not really know what he wants until he has it.
Personally, I happen to stand more for this second party. Many objects and services we cannot do without now, starting from the very smartphone, played absolutely no role in our lives just some time ago.
A few days back I was thinking about a key WhatsApp feature I routinely use that was probably not intended to be the way it is: file transfers from your phone to your pc.
If you are on mac/iphone under wifi and are patient enough for the two devices to find each other Air Transfer has you covered on an iPhone. But in the Android world it’s less immediate. There are many solutions out there to this need, but none as efficient as sending the file to a family member or fake group and downloading that very same file from the web version of the app on your desktop.
Delete the image or file after the download and the trick is done.
I suspect watsapp developers did not have this feature in mind when they released a web access to the app. Asked around and realised I am not the only out there using the app this way.
This file transfer capability is not the key feature of the app, but a rather useful one nonetheless.
Other times in business you find product and services that were born by mistake: the imperfect glue that made post-it possible, Viagra born as a cardiovascular medicine, Kleenex originally soft tissues to apply cosmetics, bubble wrap intended to be a new type of wallpaper and most notoriously Coca-Cola, born as a medicine to treat morphine addiction and head aches.
Now that we know that we can be lucky, why not give luck a chance?
If you build it, they will come, used to be the rather debatable mantra for broadband at the beginning of the millennium.
Often times as entrepreneurs, marketers and corporate managers we over think.
The lighter approach to build it, test it rapidly out there and see what the market uses it for might be the faster solution.
A standard business pivoting technique or agile/design thinking approach with rapid development cycles will help you with the rest.