Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gravity usually wins

There are so many things we do in business and in our personal lives that are just attempts to fight gravity. On the personal side, we try to change the people we're with. Now I'm not saying that people don't ever change. But you've got to be clear about changes that are fundamental and those that are incidental. People don't typically make fundamental changes. They do happen, but do you really think that someone who didn't make that change for internal reasons will make it for you? Probably not. You're fighting gravity there. And gravity usually wins.

We do the same in business. The music industry was in trouble because people were (are) illegally copying and distributing music. So the industry decided to sue its consumers. Now I don't condone breaking the law. But get real. Do they really think they're putting that genie back in the box? They're fighting gravity. Instead, they should find a way to make money by aligning with and facilitating consumers in their efforts to live the way they want to live. I don't have the answers for them. But I'm pretty damn sure they're not going to win by fighting gravity.

Apple did the same thing with the iPhone. They blocked people from installing non-Apple apps on their phones. People who did it, had their phones fried by Apple. I was in an Apple store and saw a guy trying to work it out with Apple and he basically found out that his brand new iPhone was toast and could not be fixed. Not a happy dude. Apple wised up (at least partly) and is opening up the iPhone to other applications.

See Jeremy Epstein's blog post on consumer marketing and my comment. He makes a great point that I think we all need to consider.

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