Nothing works

If I gave you a million pounds, you’d probably buy something without trying it. If I took back that million pounds, you’d be more diligent.

You’d want to know what the product did, if it did it well and how it worked with your other products. High level but a consensus when it comes to buying.

The perfect way to find out if something is worth investing in is a free trial. Your opportunity to test the product before making the decision to buy or not, to see if it compares to competitors and if it is worth spending your money on.

With this in mind, the free trial needs to be perfect. Sure, the technology enthusiasts will understand that they have downloaded the BETA version and development is ongoing in the background but the everyday users and buyers will have a different view.

The buyers need to know if it is worth buying and the users want to be able to use it.

Why don’t companies fully test their product before releasing it out into wide world? One small (or large) blip can put a consumer off a product. And if the user can’t get the product to work then they will more than likely not attempt to get it going.

We live in a ruthless world where is everybody is in a rush and nobody has the time to sit around and tweak every setting on their PC to get a new piece of software working. The meeting minutes need to be typed up, your presentation starts in ten minutes and you have to collect the kids from school after that. No time to get somebody else’s product working.

Even the biggest companies are guilty of this. Polycom emailed me last week with a shiny new piece of software to trial. I am a Polycom fan and was excited to see what their new offering did and how it would boost productivity in my working day. However, I cannot tell you how good or bad is because it failed to install.

I am 99.99999% sure that I didn’t do anything wrong. I am confident because there was only one button to press (“INSTALL”) and I pressed it firmly.

But it failed to install and I couldn’t do anything differently so that was that.

This may well be a life changing application but if none of the users can install it then adoption rates aren’t exactly going to soar.

The same goes for mobile applications. Number one in the app store indicates the highest number of downloads. What it doesn’t indicate is how many people deleted that same app immediately afterwards because it didn’t work or wasn’t what they expected.

My download history will show you hundreds of apps downloaded but I only have twenty currently on my phone. If they don’t work or don’t work well then they aren’t going to stay.

There’s an essay to be written on how to get this right and people are employed to make sure products are released in a complete state. So it truly does baffle me that every day, over 100,000 apps are deleted from mobile phones and over 10,000 pieces of downloaded software remains unregistered.

If it don’t work, we ain’t gonna use it.