I have been away for a month, wow. I have been moving, folks. My Dutch adventure is over, and I am now based in London. Moving was interesting, as always, still living out of boxes, but I now have where to sit, stable Internet connection and the childcare is sorted. Hence expect more posts going forward.
Today I’d like to share a video that I’ve watched recently where Evan Williams speaks at the XOXO conference. If you have not heard about Evan Williams, he is a serial Internet entrepreneur, known among other things as the founder of Blogger platform and co-founder of Twitter.
In the video, he talks about his background, evolution of and his vision for Internet, as well as why certain online companies succeed. He boils it down to 3 success factors: speed, simplicity and removal of friction. Any big online businesses – Amazon, Facebook, Google – succeeded because they were faster, simpler and more frictionless (as in they removed unnecessary steps) than their competition.
If you are a social enterprise, just having a cause at the heart of your business won’t sell your products and services on the scale desired. If you on the other hand identify a basic human need that your products or services satisfy, and you do offer a solution to satisfy it faster, simpler and in less steps than what exists already, then you will succeed.
Take Method. Their cleaning products are environment friendly. But so are Ecover’s, Bio-D’s and Attitude’s. But Method’s products are also beautiful, made to look designer like. Surely, among their customers many buy for the eco benefits, but I am sure many also do for aesthetic reasons. Because not only we want to be clean and not hurt the planet, but we also want to show off a bit while doing it. Method successfully tap into these needs simplifying buying reliable eco cleaning products.
If you are a not for profit, you probably have not considered any or all of the above because you may think they don’t apply. Think again. Look at Greenpeace. They almost look like a business if you judge by their online presence. They allow you to donate fast. Their DD application is simple, online and takes less than 5min to process. They allow you to join their campaigns and make your voice heard in one click. Their online presence is all about simplicity and removing friction. They are a not for profit who make supporting a cause that’s close to your heart as easy as buying something on Amazon.
Speed. Simplicity. Minimising the friction. Next time you are thinking of a product or campaign, use these 3 principles.