What is the best-kept secret to market disruption? Is innovation enough? Dial down features is one of the most common customer business model patterns, responsible for the success of industry leaders such as eBay, Uber, and Airbnb.

How? Forget the classic engineering perspective. It is not about what you are selling. It is about what the customer values the most – i.e. the job to be done! In other words, the success of today’s most successful companies is not just about creating products or services with many different features. It is about reducing features to the core of what customers actually value; hence dial down, ‘to reduce’.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The logic of Dial down features is targeting slightly less-demanding consumers with products or services that may not be superior, nor have plenty of features, but that are adequate, more convenient, and efficient.

  • Think about eBay. Pierre Omidyar was the first one to shake-up the retail industry when eBay inaugurated this customer model, enabling anyone, from anywhere, to buy and sell anything. This was not a luxury store, but a convenient exchange of goods.
  • Next in line were Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky, and Joe Gebbia to disrupt the hospitality industry with Airbnb, offering the opportunity to rent or book a room to/from anyone, anywhere. Not the Hilton, but an experience for the less demanding traveler.
  • Most recently, Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp started disrupting the almost ancient taxicab system, making Uber the hail-ride transportation of choice. They did this by focusing all their efforts on delivering an extremely easy, useful, and pleasant experience for passengers and drivers to efficiently find each other.

By shifting the focus from the traditional multi-purpose approach to the customer experience, we increasingly see industries transform into more convenient, simple, and efficient versions of themselves. What about your industry? What is the core ‘job to be done’ that you could tackle with a focused, efficient, and slightly less expensive solution?

So this is the Brain Snack of the week. If you enjoyed this content, please comment, follow us, and share this post! Also, you can explore more ways for business model innovation on www.smartbusinessmodeler.com.

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