Sat, 05 Sep 2009 23:38:00 GMT

Being Remarkable Does Not Equal Quality

Seth Godin often talks about building a remarkable product, which, by definition, people talk about. One thing that stuck out to me recently while reading Purple Cow is when Seth Godin says:
The opposite of remarkable is very good. Ideas that are remarkable are much more likely to spread than ideas that aren't. Yet, so few brave people make remarkable stuff. Why? I think it is because they think that the opposite of remarkable is bad or mediocre or poorly done. Thus, if they make something very good, they confuse it with being virus worthy. Yet, this is not a discussion about quality at all.
This is a very interesting concept. Being remarkable is not a measure of quality. Building a very good product is not the same as building one that people will talk about.

For instance, take Basecamp by 37 signals. In their book Getting Real, they talk about how they stood out from competitors by being the simplest web-based project collaboration tool. They explicitly excluded features that other's thought were required for project collaboration. They weren't successful by being better. They were successful by being different. If instead they had tried to be better than the competition, they would have been indistinguishable.

Don't waste your time trying to be better. There will always be someone better. Instead focus on being different; being remarkable. If people are talking about you then you have a better chance at success.