Much is made of a person’s intuition, but often the counter-intuitive idea is the best.
This is especially true in the over-crowded modern market place. To be regular is to be ignored. Even if you are noticed, you probably won’t be talked about.
I recently heard about a new gym that has opened – it charges it’s members if they don’t turn up to use the equipment.
A gym that cares so much about your health that it doesn’t mind making less money when it’s clients are fitter?
Maybe. More likely is that it’s (smart) marketing department know that this extraordinary idea will spread, resulting in more members. And not all of them will be able to make it in every day.
Gyms don’t tend to be very profitable (if at all) in a recession. This gym is doing very well.
For an idea to spread, it helps if it’s unexpected. I doubt the person who told me about the gym would have bothered to if the gym charged a flat monthly fee.
IP (intellectual property)
Let’s bring up IP again, with a slightly counter-intuitive slant.
Common practice involves coming up with a new product and immediately looking at every conceivable way that you could stop others from replicating it.
For a brand new product or concept, is this necessarily the best idea?
You’re trying to open up a new market category, and presumably you’ll have to acquire your customers from older, more established categories.
If your category had more than one operator within it, it would be larger. You’d create more buzz around it, and earn it far more credibility.
So how about opening a new category and letting others join it? Of course, putting your effort into maintaining your position as it’s leader? You wouldn’t have the whole category to yourself, but you’d have the largest chunk of a larger pie.
If Apple had been able to stop anyone else from making anything that resembled a tablet pc, would they have sold as many iPads as they have today?
I don’t think the masses would have accepted this new product idea in the same way had only one company produced them.
It’s counter-intuitive, but in many situations counter-intuition works.