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Reading about the success of Google’s Chromecast, especially against the rough market history of Google TV, got me thinking. Are consumers signaling that minimum viable products aren’t just for earlyvangelists? More so, have product and service consumption habits started to converge?
Consider the recent Netflix report confirming that consumers literally stockpile TV show episodes in order to feed their desire for binge viewing. The messaging here is several fold:
First, all paradigms are under attack. Chromecast and other multiscreen approaches like Apple TV have changed the viewing environment permanently. The popularity of Chromecast says to me that consumers want to consume content on large screens only when they want to.
Second, for the first time the Netflix data is able to confirm that the on-demand desire of binge viewers isn’t a niche. The mainstream has decided that it’s more fun to consume media where and when a person wants it, large screen be damned.
Both of these shifts say to me that Lean Startups aren’t the only management teams benefiting from minimum viable product methods. What if that’s what people want to buy at scale (like 1M+ Chromecasts)? Keep your feature-rich mess to yourself because I never asked for it. That’s a hell of a shift.
Keep the logic going and it’s not long before someone asks why episodes are even one hour long anymore. For that matter, what about killing off the notion of seasons all together?
What happens when minimum viable is all the product anyone even needs or wants? “It just works” used to be a differentiation. User experience having been honed in expectations by Apple may be a boon to every industry, if they can adapt to a release paradigm that Google perfected in consumer SaaS: good enough is if you can change it fast enough.