Sunday, 16 October 2011

Reduce Friction, Increase Happiness

2669139336_d665188381There has been a reoccurring theme on my mind recently as I've advised startups on areas of focus. It revolves around the goal of reducing friction. Reduced friction in a product leads to less user frustration, high conversion, and overall user happiness. I'd like to use a few examples to illustrate what I mean. Let's start with Uber, the startup that lets you order a black car from your mobile phone in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Chicago, and a growing list of cities. Because I know the team, I've been following this startup since they launched. I actually took an Uber car to celebrate selling my first startup during one of their first weeks in beta. When I first heard about the service, I focused on the luxury aspect of traveling in a black town car with a private driver. Who wouldn't? It's in their tagline ("Everyone's Private Driver") and it sounds awesome. But after my first Uber experience, I found out that while nice, the luxury component is strangely unimportant compared to their much bigger function of reducing the friction of getting a ride somewhere.


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