I recently moved from an iOS phone to an Android phone. The move was by and large painless but for one big hassle- lack of iTunes on Android.
On a completely unrelated note, I have been trying to use Google + about the same as Facebook. Part of it is driven by my personal preference for G+ due to features and part of it is motivated by wanting to subtely separate my social network into purely personal (Facebook) and not so much (Google+). While I continue down this path, I am stuck by how many empty Google+ profiles I encounter every day.
As a third case to point, I was recently looking to purchase some small items and went straight to Amazon.com and searched for it. I have long since stopped searching for products to buy on Google. I just find them all on Amazon.com. In this particular instance, I didnt. I did a Google search and after looking at multiple sellers, I finally settled on one. Given how much information I was submitting to the new seller’s site, I was paranoid until I pressed Submit. I still am not totally confident on the credentials of the seller. And then there is the long wait to get the product shipped. Having been pampered by Amazon Prime, it is almost weird to see shipping times of over 2 days.
As a final point, a friend waxed eloquent to me, the benefits of Windows SkyDrive. I took a look and found it interesting. But I am so commited to Google Docs at this point that a transition just seems out of question.
The four scenarios above illustrate what most of us encounter on a daily basis- Stickiness. We commit ourselves mentally to certain experiences- products and online that it is tricky, painful and almost uninviting to transition over to a competing offering, even if better. This also illustrates why great companies are good at quickly and convincingly establishing this stickiness factor with its users.
Apple’s biggest advantage in my opinion is iTunes. The one stop management of songs, movies and apps is such a brilliant product that it is painfully hard to get away from it. Playlist management is a breeze and while sync takes a long time, when done, it is just easy to use. And it works across iPods, PCs, Macs and iPhones. Makes it so much easier to stay in the ecosystem.
Google+ is a solid offering from Google to bring in users to its social network fold. But it is going up against Facebook- the Goliath in the field. Even though Google+ boasts smart engineering talent and almost unlimited resources, the task of weaning people away from Facebook and more importantly convincing them to do so en masse with their friends is seemingly insurmountable.
E-commerce retailers have tried every trick in the book. Amazon just keeps getting better. And Prime might be one of the most compelling offerings of any form online.
Google Docs has gotten to be so popular that any competing offering will have to seriously come up with major innovation and advertising to even put up a fight.
Stickiness is at once a boon and a bane. A boon as it makes life easier in so many ways that we start taking it(them) for granted. It also forces the competition to innovate and step outside of its comfort zone. It is also a bane as it can be discouraging for even the best of competition. In addition, it could make any seperation from the service or product, an emotional hassle.
So here is to seeing more sticky offerings and in turn better competition and innovation.