There's winning and winning long-term....
I saw a great piece by Paul Gillin in BtoB magazine last month. Paul took his readers back in time to remember the hoopla, promise and excitement that accompanied Second Life’s birthing. That excitement, like many IT fads is now accorded to Twitter.
Paul makes a few really good points and I am sure that the limitations of his column prevented him from taking the assessment even further. For my two cents, I would have added an additional transition phase between Second Life and Twitter: Facebook.
In just the last few weeks, I have seen several traditional media outlets run stories that show how Facebook is now being used by grandparents, businesses, etc. Typically, these stories show how ‘yucky’ it is for some tween/college student to discover that their grandpa wants to connect with them on Facebook.
Apparently, when a ‘hot’ technology gets picked up by an older generation, then it is already on the back side of its product life cycle. In other words, the product is closer than ever to becoming passé. Although the case with Twitter may be that it is going from a cool, hip technology that appeals to specific demographic to a technology that is going mainstream.
My desk and briefcase are full of 'mainstream' technologies and a few that time has passed by altogether. I do my kids a favor and stay away from their favorite technologies and they usually return the favor. Although it is really is fun when the two universes (hip/cool meets mainstream) collide.
If you sell technology, the end game is always moving your solution into the mainstream as the landscape is littered with product flameouts. Technology with no staying power is akin to teen fashions: hot one day and cold the next. Where is your solution/firm?