Less is More: What Social Media and Electronics Can Teach the Establishment

Read the news and it quickly becomes obvious how complex this world is. So, it's no wonder that what's popular in social media and electronics is simple.

MySpace (IMHO) was easier than Friendster. But Facebook took the best of both and now reigns.

LinkedIn makes it easy to network professionally, and YouTube makes it easy to be entertained - and quickly.

Twitter makes a bunch of things easy - from breaking news to gathering feedback about a product you're considering.

In electronics, the Flip Video has revolutionized camcorders (I am a proud owner of one myself). And now, smaller, more affordable laptops are all the rage. Plus, Apple threw its iPod on a mobile phone, inserted the internet and simplified mobile communications.

So why are these services and gadgets so popular but companies like Microsoft are watching their market share slowly fade?

Dan Kimerling at TechCrunch thinks its all about motivation. Microsoft is motivated by features, while Facebook, et al, are motivated by the user experience.

He has a point. Microsoft considers Google a major rival, and Google is almost always talking about the user experience.

Steve Ballmer might want to take a cue, because he talks an awful lot about catching Google via advertising. And while advertising revenues are most certainly a key to Microsoft's long term success, it will only prove profitable if the customer is happy.

Google should also watch out to avoid the pitfalls that plagued Microsoft. But a Google failure would not automatically equal Microsoft success. It would only leave the door open for a Facebook-esque startup to come along and steal the show.