AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A story about Yo-Yo

There is a cartoon on TV - it must be either on Disney Channel or Cartoon Channel, but it must have something to do with Yo-Yo. You know, those little rollers that run up and down on a string. They are around for ages and were probably dead for a long time. I played with one when I was a kid. Simple games - up and down, and may be we were able to do a loop.

Now they are in again and they are way advanced over what I knew before. In every corner of Malaysia (dare I say so), kids are playing Yo-Yo and not only kids - adults as well.

There are "normal or basic" Yo-Yos, "intermediate", "advanced" and "brilliant". There might be more categories. Each group allows more tricks with the Yo-Yo, but as more advanced the Yo-Yo, as higher the price. There is "Walk The Dog", "Escalator", "Rock The Baby", "Skipper" and more. My kid recently bought a second one, after he spoilt his first and I saw that there are even videos explaining the different ways of how to "work a Yo-Yo". My kid is pretty good at it, while I just manage to do the tricks that I could already do with the old, old Yo-Yos.

Will it be lasting? Not sure. It might be a one-day fly, just like "Heelies" were three month back - or how was this written again? Healy or what? My kid was crazy about those as well.

The introduction of those products and how they take-off and come down again might be the result of the drive for instant gratification of consumers. Companies need now to constantly innovate, re-imagine their products, reinvent their companies, launch more products that appeal to consumers. The window for companies to reap of profits becomes smaller. They need to prototype, and launch, sometimes without major testing (okay, I don't mean medical or pharmaceutical products). Your market might be taken away by your competitor when you do the normal cycle of product launches, which involves endless planning and market research and advertising campaigns and marketing plans.

Fail forward fast might just be what is required. Microsoft might be a company that might play the game best - there are a lot of unsatisfied users of Microsoft products out there, which is a reason for the rise of Linux. But one thing for sure - Microsoft launches a product and while the company fails the first time around - remember the first handheld with Windows CE and how loooong it took to load on the first PDA and when nobody thought they would be a serious competition for Palm - but they keep coming back and back and back, until the system works. They constantly fail but constantly improve. Not necessarily with inspiring products, but this is not what I am talking about (don't tell Bill Gates). And even Microsoft doesn't get it often - think about the talking paper clip called Clippy and how it annoys MS users.

Is there anything to this posting -probably not much? I just want to show that products come and go faster and faster and that continuous success is no longer possible.


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