Much has been said and much has been defended on the Notion Ink saga. After the calls like ‘spam-o-meter’ and ‘mysterious’ by popular blogs, the dust has settled down, or at least appears so. This did not happen by any magic. This happened through some humble blog posts by the CEO of the company. I guess it takes one blog post to bring the company down and two blog posts to resurrect.
I have already discussed 7 things I like about Adam. I still stand by with all of them. The events unfurled in the last five days have some great lessons for all product launches. Calling Adam’s launch either a success or a failure would be childish. It really isn’t neither. It is a great lesson. Besides success and failure depends on how you look at it. Here are the lessons Notion Ink and everyone else can draw from the product launch :
Choosing speed over perfection
Notion Ink chose speed over perfection. They haven’t tested all the money transactions which led to the confusion. Had they tested all then the product would have been launched on 7 Jan 2011. This is a judgment call. Either be paranoid and test everything or leave something’s to chance. I am yet to find an incident where Murphy’s law was proved wrong. Things will go wrong. Does that mean we have to choose perfection over speed? I don’t have the answer. It is a judgment call.
Not anticipating demand
Who can anticipate demand? iPad had similar production problems which couldn’t meet the demand. The appetite for tablets is only getting larger. If you provide a compelling product with unbeatable price then there will be takers. On the bright side, super demand only ratifies the faith in the product.
Trying to satisfy everyone
This is the mistake which everyone try to commit, except Apple. Steve Jobs doesn’t believe in listening to customers as he thinks that customers don’t always know what they really want. Rohan and Notion Ink on the other had tried to listen to everyone who has access to a keyboard. Now they know that you cannot satisfy everyone. Not least the persons who have access to a keyboard.
Testing in production
This ties back to the speed over perfection. The payment gateways should have been tested with all the possible options available. Having a late product launch looks like a better option than having a PR disaster.
Having short agreements
Looks like we cannot change world overnight. Notion Ink has found this the hard way. There is a reason why the End User License Agreements (EULA) and the warranty agreements are more than few pages long. Notion Ink tried to make it short. Big mistake. They are long for a reason. You cannot possible fit all the cases in a single page or two.
Trying things for the first time
Global warranty and global pricing are the two things which Notion Ink tried. This by far my favorite part. If you have seen product launches across the world, there is a staggering which goes on where North America gets the leg up, followed by Europe and rest of the world. Notion Ink on other hand tried to change that with a global ordering and global launch. A flat shipping fee of $50 was charged to facilitate this. And then the intricacies of global commerce kicked in to tell that it really isn’t a flat world when it matters the most.
Many has written off the company. But Notion Ink is making strides even more calmly and even more composedly. I have to appreciate Rohan Shravan’s tone in all the blog posts. It is hard to maintain the tone amidst a tumultuous situation. Rohan has done it tremendously well. I like the way he introspected. Best part is Notion Ink is here to stay.
The introspection has yet not ended, and we are learning. As we have said earlier, we are here to stay. (Notion Ink blog)
I really hope all these will be taken care of for the launch of Notion Eve.