Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fix Your Product's Broken Windows

In a March 1982 Atlantic Monthly article titled "Broken Windows", James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling advanced a theory that minor acts of vandalism, such as grafitti or breaking of windows, escalate and tend to increase the incidence of more serious crime. Prevent the small, cosmetic crimes, and the frequency of more serious crimes will decrease.

A similar concept applies to your products. You should focus your product on solving the key problems the customers in your target market face. However, you also need to prevent and fix the "broken windows" in your product. Perceptions of minor, cosmetic glitches in your product can mushroom into a lack of trust in its overall quality. As I've mentioned before, image should reinforce substance.

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