So Myntra went app-only and an unconfirmed ‘from a source’ report by et which stated that the Myntra’s revenues has fallen by 10% resonated with majority of influencers and early adopters.
Without any serious analysis in place, the revenue drop suddenly sparked a ‘See, I told you so’ moment among some of the well known tech influencers and early adopters (no point in taking names here – let’s just stick to the context).
Before you read further, read : That One Thing (Successful) Consumer Internet Startup Founders Do
My simple wishlist is to have more intelligent debates among tech influencers/early adopters than just shrugging off these path breaking decisions.
Maybe Myntra is grossly wrong in doing what it is doing. Maybe they are writing a new chapter in India’s ecommerce business.
Nobody knows. One can only guess/debate – but being judgmental without passionate/involved debates is a thing among commoners, which early adopters aren’t!
In the past, such bold decisions has taken everybody by surprise. Be it of Flipkart deciding to move beyond books or of Facebook deciding to move beyond colleges, companies have been written off for the ‘lack of focus’.
And it is precisely this reason that the successful companies have always skipped the ‘oh! I told you so’ moments from early adopters.
My point is simple : If you are a consumer Internet company, you have two distinct segments to focus on:
[A] Early adopters and tech influencers : Listen to them. Iterate.
[B] The actual customers : Make them happy.
Your actual fate actually (I do mean 2 actuals) depends on whom you cater to.
The early adopters are mostly driven by their hypothesis and try to prove themselves right (let’s just admit that they find it difficult to believe that somebody else actually thought of something so irrational/illogical and ballsy ideas).
What about the other segment, i.e. customers? Well, they don’t care much. They just want to simplify things around their life and you (you = the product/brand) need to find a place there.
If you figure out a place in your customer’s life, you have a winner !
In all probability, there is very little overlap between the two segments. So decide wisely. You can make the noisiest ones (i.e. the early adopters) happy by ‘sticking to the rules’ OR you can play by the market insights you have and make the actual customers happy.
The quality of debates and discussions will very often drive (?) your decisions and unless early adopters show their curiosity towards data/consumer behavior / have more questions than
answers judgements, you are better off sticking to your guts.
In the end, there is only one choice.