August 17th, 2011 By Jack Morton
OK, let me start with a confession that the headline is total hyperbole… I don’t know how many shoes Oprah has. She got dragged into this discussion because she represents that pinnacle of wealth for which nothing is too expensive. I could have used Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, but nobody cares how many shoes they have. The point is… if cost were never a barrier and you could buy anything, how would you value those things you bought?
Which brings me to the dozens (hundreds?) of FREE apps that I have installed on my Android phone, my Galaxy Tab, my iPad, my iPod Touch and my wife’s iPhone. I see an app, it looks interesting and it’s free, so I get it with no regard to whether I’ll actually need it. Sometimes I’ll hear about a great app, go to the app store to buy it and discover I already have it installed! (That just happened with the screen capture app I needed to snap the photo above.)
Reminds me of walking through the floor at CES, stuffing my Swag-Bag with all the freebies… not because I need them, but because they’re free. Then dumping the bag on the bed back in my hotel room wondering why I had any of it — or why anybody paid to get it in my hands.
It just occurred to me that acquiring Facebook friends is just as barrier-free… and meaningless. It’s not the acquisition that matters.
I do have a handful of mobile apps that I can’t live without. Google Maps, TripIt, Mint, Kindle, Glympse and Google Listen. These apps intersect with my lifestyle, interact with my legacy technology, and make my life experience easier. I use them and recommend them.
The lesson for me is this: it’s not enough to have people acquire your product. What’s important is that they experience your product. Only then do they become loyalists and advocates.