Too Much Trouble

In my post of 6/24 I talked about the how brands can reach the magical point of becoming verbs (as in ‘googling’). There’s also another aspect that can sustain a brand. I call it “too much trouble” (TMT) as in “it’s too much trouble to switch”.

Mark Cuban gets credit for TMT (which I’m sure is some existing economic theory — I make no claims on this at all). In his latest post on Facebook versus Google’s OpenSocial he stated “… any application can currently ask for this information and many do. I don’t want to have to publish and maintain a database for every application I want to use or happen to use. Nor do I want to have to maintain multiple social network accounts to make this information available.”

[That’s not he best job of citing a quote for reasoning, but it is the truth]

TMT is a justification value for how much trouble its worth to me to trash all the time and effort I have spent developing/using product “A” in order to switch to developing/using product “B” (in this case moving from Facebook to OpenSocial). This is not like buying laundry detergent where switching brands is as simple as pulling a different bottle off the shelf (which I do all the time based on what’s on sale). This is about taking my personal resource investment and zeroing it out. Sure, I could copy/paste some material, re-upload photos, etc. but all of that would take even more time and I would essentially be repeating a job previously completed.

So what is the value of TMT (its not 42 or 88)? Well that depends on a number of factors such as 1- How long have I used product “A”; 2- How many of my friends have switched to product “B”; 3- How good is product “B” (which would need to be as good as but most likely MUCH better) and so on.  As they say… your mileage may vary…  and so with TMT everybody’s threshold will vary.

What this comes down to is that Google needs to create a damn good social network in order to get users to abandon Facebook.  I’m not saying they can’t do it. I’m saying its going to take some serious effort.  Getting buy in from MySpace (oh, how I hate that site) was a good move because that’s a huge pool of users (loyal or not is a different story) , but MySpace ain’t no Facebook.  Ideally, I would would be working like hell on a porting application that would suck a profile out of Facebook and shove it into OpenSocial.  That would go a long way to easing the migration pains.

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~ by Genevieve on 2007.11.05.

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