When you think “I want to..”, what do you do?
When you want to share a thought, store a link, find an idea, research a person, find new music, ask a question, share a photo, etc., what do you do? And do you even think about it?
Each one of these actions can be accomplished in many ways with a variety of products on the web; each one of these actions has a multitude of companies competing to be our preferred, default method for getting what we want done. Some are even trying to convince us of new things we need to do. They are attempting to create internal triggers (impulses to use their product) and habits (use our product every day / week / time) in the hope of creating the kind of mass adoption and usage to create widely-known unique signifiers around their products.
I.e. when something in your life happens, they want you to immediately think “I should do this using xxx”, tapping into a unique, discrete trigger embedded into your behavior.
Not easy, obviously. But tremendously valuable if you can swing it.
The implications for startups? Is it possible to create that trigger? How much does that action occur every day, every week, every month? How hard is it to establish that habit in people? How hard is it to tear that impulse away from a competing service? How hard is it create a new social action? How can you build a networked community based on a mass of people taking a single action? And if you’re wondering, advertising and branding isn’t enough, this takes products and communities.