Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Latent Dissatisfaction

Rags Gupta has a very interesting post about the concept of latent dissatisfaction. He speaks about how Apple has uncovered such a state that exists with the consumption of music, with their current iPod + iTunes offering. Though unknown to anyone in "the industry", consumers were latently unsatisfied with the methods available to consume music content.

This smells of basic communications theory surrounding the idea of "message." The one speaking defines what is spoken. For discussion (or "interaction") to occur, respondents are forced to work under the construct the speaker defined. If you speak of an apple and an orange, others are not even aware of the pear, and more importantly are highly unlikely to even mention it.

This concept relegates such consumer understanding techniques as interviews, surveys, focus groups, etc. - tools that require the respondent to work under the construct of what they know and what they are asked - as weak, and potentially misguided for generating understanding of real opportunity.

My take-away is this: Is there more opportunity inside a defined construct, our outside? There is no question that the limitless, undefined "outside" offers the most opportunity.


Welcome to my musings. I thought I would add my own voice to the cacaphony of thoughts that now float about.

I have a background in politics and technology, and a fascination with how our culture continues to evolve as technology further permeates our lives. I am an expert in nothing, but a bystander of much. Conversations with my wife and others have led me to believe the way my mind works might be different (and potentially interesting) to others. We shall see...