Fix headaches, don't try to sell vitamin pills

Don't try to sell vitamin pills - address real problems that people MUST solve rather than trying to sell something that's a NICE to have

… is an old adage. Arguably, however, the dichotomy of "need to have" vs "nice to have" is beginning to show its age and its origins in the B2B landscape, where the average sale involved a plane ticket and a smooth-talking man in a suit.

When dealing with consumer apps, it might be more useful simply to explore the concept of adaptive fitness, in a Darwinian sense. Products and services can be selected for or against, and the niches themselves are constantly evolving.

"Need to have" vs "nice to have" is just another allele. No URL shortener would have gotten off the ground if they had to pass the "need to have" bar. Any investor would have said, "let me see if I understand you. The idea is to take a long URL, that might not fit into Twitter's arbitrary limit of 140 characters, and shorten it, so that it does. But what if Twitter expands that arbitrary limit of 140 characters? Not all of Twitter is tied to SMS. And why wouldn't Twitter get into the URL-shortening business themselves? They could trivially use some Javascript to automatically shorten long URLs right in the browser, or on the server side upon submission. If they do that, you're toast. Sorry, your idea doesn't fly."

That's like saying to the tuna, "I want you to guarantee that your eggs won't be eaten." It misses the point. Most of them will be eaten. But the survivors can get really big. The people who put $2M into bit.ly get that.

bit.ly, tinyurl.com, ow.ly … each has a slightly different feature set. And those mutations make one or the other more or less fit. Other factors contribute to success or failure: the first well-adapted entrant to a new niche usually, but not always, dominates it.

The average Internet startup today is in entertainment, not infrastructure. Forget vitamins and painkillers. Think candy. Think crack.

K-selection works for infrastructure, B2B plays.

Entertainment startups call for r-selection.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory

In a r-selection world, sometimes we have to JFDI and see if it works.

See also:
Ideas

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