01 July 2011

Strategies and Presidential Election - Bill vs Steve - Part 2

Continued from previous post Strategies and Presidential Election - Bill vs Steve ?, we shall cover Principle 2 Minimax rather than Maxiall.

Principle 2 Minimax rather than MaxiAll
Minimax is about have a minimum of features set and maximizing the experience for the customers, maximizing the difference between yours and the those of your competitors in the experience of the customers. I think this a key lesson demonstrated extremely well by Steve Jobs in his Apple range of products.

Maxi-All is the conventional wisdom that more is merrier. People will buy those offerings that offer more features. More features is better is the principle of this Maxi-All thinking. I think this principle need to be qualified with if everything else is equal, then the one offering more features that the customers want will be preferred. There are two qualifications - everything else being equal and features that customers want. There is no use offering more features that the customers have no use for. Features that the customer want and not fully addressed by you will nullify all other added seemingly useful features. This is how I see iPhone and iPad are winning the battle against their competitors.

We have heard so often that iPad can't do this or that e.g. no USB, no flash support, no SD cards, no cameras (in iPad, not iPad2) etc. So they try to come out with products that do hoping to dethrone Apple. But iPhone and iPad provide the key things, the wow experience that customers want. They have better user interface experience (so far many reviews said that, there are some reviews that rate Android better). They have many more useful apps and those apps work better on iPhone and iPad. There apps developers are making the money according to the iTunes downloads and the revenues reports. We should be aware that every feature added will cost you more, create opportunity for bugs and reduces battery life. Study also shows that offering more choices will result in worse decision being made.

The lessons from Apple success is
  1. simplicity (built for dummies) and a depth for a meaningful and wow experience.
  2. you don't have to offer all the features at once. Do it as needed to maximize your profits.
    iPad without camera and without this or that took the world by storm because the competitors are even there. Now that there are some competitors, iPad2 was released with cameras, dual processors and so forth.
What about Presidential Elections?
The same principle of MiniMax applies. Pick a few key features that inspire and draw the hearts of the people and maximize the minimal list of features to deliver a powerful, unforgettable and attractive dreams (we are at the promises level now) with people asking for more.

There is only one main caution here. Don't give promises that you could not deliver. Great promises create great expectations and also great disappointment if you fail to deliver them.  Branding is not just marketing but the true experience of customers over time.

Sun Zi's Bag of Tricks Does Not work here.
Sun Zi's Art of War encourages the use of 'deception' to surprise the enemy. More of Sun Zi can be found here. You can surprise your competitors but you should never shock (negative surprise) your people. Exceeding the expectation of customers creates delights but under delivery of promises creates the feeling of betrayal and is very very painful. It will trigger revenge! Hence, while we try to promise as much as we can to be attractive and cannot over promise and under deliver. It is better to be transparent, honest and humble and qualify your promises as will try with best efforts. Nevertheless, people prefer an honest people to one that over promise and under delivery.

Principle 3 Communication that Captures Attention, Appeal to the Mind and Touches the Heart.
Any great vision and dream needs to be communicated. Communication take place as three levels, the body, mind and heart. So, have your dream
  1. Body: painted with an attractive picture, a sign, an action (a sequence of short movement), a video that can be associated with your dream.
  2. Mind: a good rational reasons for what and why it is good for you the people.
  3. Heart: a sentence or story that touches the heart.
Watch this video "Power of Words".

Guides for Your Choice of EP:
I posted the following guides in the TKL and TCB Facebook pages and also in response to a post in TT page. So I reproduce here with some modifications to complete this post:
Questions to Help You Decide
1. What values does he hold? Do you want those values? [Values]

2. What would he do if elected? Do you want that for Singapore? [Dream]

3. How capable is he? Evidences to support. [Leadership of Height, Depth, Length and Breadth]
Especially on Financial matters since he is support to guard the country reserves. Despite the availability of experts he need to know enough to decide independently.

4. Does he walk his talk? Evidences to support.
This is a key question. If he does not, all the talk means nothing.

5. Is he sensitive to the voices and needs of the people? Evidences to support.

6. How close is he to the present government?
This is not about anti-government for anti-government sake. It is about the impact of long term and close relationship results in people thinking alike. Is it about having an independent view and able to be different. This independent view could endorse the ruling government too.

Rank your candidate. Weight your questions. Hopefully, you can come out with the right choice.
June 23 at 10:57pm

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