Book review: Trade-Off

I enjoyed listening to Moira Gunn’s interview with Kevin Maney, author of the new book Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On and Others Don’t¬†(ISBN¬†038552594X).

The book was a little disappointing after listening to the interview. I felt I had heard most of what Maney had to say before I read the book.

In a nutshell, the message of the book is that you should either strive for fidelity (exclusivity, quality) or convenience (accessibility, affordability). You can succeed by excelling at fidelity or at convenience. But if you strive for both, you’ll lose to companies that are better at one criteria or the other. Maney gives several interesting examples of companies that have succeeded along the edges of the fidelity/convenience graph but then failed when they started pursuing the diagonal.

Related post: I am not an operating system (how Microsoft and Apple are forced into their respective marketing positions)