10 Examples of Predictability That Businesses Stand For

A few days back I wrote an article – What Separates Startup Men from Poys [The P word], that essentially discussed one the most important element in a product – i.e. predictability of functionality/usage and importantly, the process behind building predictability in a system.

In this article, I am sharing some of the predictable/unpredictable examples that I have come across. Do share yours.

1. Rediff

The last story will be semi-porn/masala in nature. And mind you, that’s a sticky story (i.e. stays there even if you change tabs). My guess is that this gets the highest CTR (click thru’).

The predictability part is that this story will always be semi-porn/pure masala in nature. Irrespective of what’s happening around the world.


2.  Nokia Vs. Apple

Predictable: Apple. Features work as-mentioned. Touch works as-promised.

UnPredictable: Nokia. Most of the times, it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Is it predictable?

3. Broadband Connectivity

You are always sure that you will never ever get the promised speed. [So you always opt for higher speeds, pay more and essentially predict the degree of unpredictability]

Also, on the dark side of predictability is Sify. You know the broadband connection will go off the hook, once it starts raining (100% predictability here).

4. Blue Collar/White collar workers.

Predictable: If an auto mechanic says ‘5 Minutes’, you know that it means 30 minutes. [i.e. you predict the margin].

UnPredictable: Promise made by banks like ICICI on their service, i.e. Quality of Service [a case of over promise, under delivery?]. Sometimes it takes few days for them to really understand the situation (and sometimes the query is resolved within 30 minutes). The thing is that it’s still unpredictable.

5. Chrome Vs. Others

Predictable: Chrome speed (right from boot to autosuggestion)

Unpredictable: Mozilla (these days).

6. Bollywood

Shahrukh Khan is predictable. Aamir Khan isn’t. Johny Walker was. Big B isn’t.

There is no pattern here. They all are heroes in their own terms [the saying that goes in Bollywood is that “If you are predictable, you are replaceable”].

7. Courier Service

DHL is predictable (you can track on real time basis).

Most of the local courier companies aren’t.

Tell us if you pay higher price for predictability, or most of the times you end up checking out the local ones?

8. Payment Gateways (PGs)

Most of the ecommerce websites know that payment gateways are unpredictable. So what have they done to cope up? They have integrated all possible PGs, in order to increase predictability.

So the more unpredictable they (i.e. PGs) are, the more they see of each other – is there a lobby here?

9. Bargaining

Right from rickshaw wala to local shopkeeper, everybody is up for bargain. And hence we always give it a shot.

But the moment we enter a shop that clearly says ‘Kings don’t Bargain’, we shut our mouth and buy the product.

Predictability (of bargain and lesser price) goes for a toss once we see the ‘No Bargaining’ board.

Similarly, you don’t bargain at a brand outlet/mall, but will do at a kirana store. Why? Do big brands kill the predictability of ‘personal attention’?, in this case?

10. Help us find the 10th example.

Tell us what’s around you is so damn predictable and unpredictable. We will update this post with our reader’s comments.

By the way, do you think that number/quality of articles on Pluggd.in is predictable?

[With inputs from Naman and Pratyush].

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