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« What you say, what you do and who you are | Main | You're nuts if you believe me »

Pick anything--the calculus of change

Remember WordPerfect? This word processor dominated the world until Word wiped them out. How did that happen?

WordPerfect was the default word processor in every law firm, big company and organization in the land. If you had the DOS operating system, it was likely you were using WordPerfect. And, if the operating system in the office hadn't changed to Windows, it's likely you'd still be using it now.

What happened was that the change in operating system created a moment when people had to pick. They had to either switch to Word or wait for a new version of WordPerfect. In that moment, "do nothing" was not an option.

Do nothing is the choice of people who are afraid. Do nothing is what you do if too many people have to agree. Do nothing is what happens if one person with no upside has to accept downside responsibility for a change. What's in it for them to do anything? So they do nothing.

The key moment for an insurgent, then, is the time of "pick anything." That's why these are such good times for iPhone apps. That's why the beginning of an administration is a good time to lobby. When people have to pick, they have to confront some of the fear and organizational barriers that lead to the status quo.

It seems to me, then, that the best time for a marketer to grow is when clients have to pick something. Seeking these moments out is inexpensive and productive.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Pick anything--the calculus of change:

» What To Do When Operating Systems Change from Strategy Central
Thought provoking post today over at Seth's blog. Writing about the moment when operating systems surged from DOS to Windows, Seth Godin points out that prior to the switch the word processing tool of choice was WordPerfect. Today? Obviously Microsoft'... [Read More]

» Pick Anything Favors SaaS, the Cloud, andCommunity from SmoothSpan Blog
Loved Seth Godins post on the calculus of change.  In it, he talks about how a change in operating systems (from DOS to Windows) opened the door for people to reconsider their choice of word processors.  The incumbent top of the heap word proces... [Read More]

» Pick Anything Favors SaaS, the Cloud, andCommunity from SmoothSpan Blog
Loved Seth Godins post on the calculus of change.  In it, he talks about how a change in operating systems (from DOS to Windows) opened the door for people to reconsider their choice of word processors.  The incumbent top of the heap word proces... [Read More]

« What you say, what you do and who you are | Main | You're nuts if you believe me »