Ego, Gravity and TweetDeck


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We humans seem to get stuck in the Gravity of yesterday’s successes and power. Sometimes we get so stuck in our power – we think we can dictate to users because of our successes. We forget that the users brought that success.

That’s human ego guiding your business strategy – and it’s dangerous Gravity.

Yet it happens a lot in technology companies. We create the latest and greatest cool stuff, we grow beyond our wildest dreams, we are recognized and lauded as a market and thought leader. We start believing our own press releases. We think we know more about our specific area than anyone else. We may even believe that we can direct our users in our direction, and they will follow like sheep.

Let’s be clear everyone. When you shove your ideas and your way down the throats of your users – you’ve gone too far. Especially when your action forces your users to take a step backwards in their own business or worlds.

Twitter let ego get in the way of their new release of TweetDeck. We all lose because of it.

Last week my Mac version of Tweetdeck (the old, good, Tweetdeck) stopped working. Again. I had no choice but to update my TweetDeck, and when I did – boy was I surprised.

  • My favorite features are gone, not to be found anywhere. (I’ve heard that cry from many.)
  • The overall functionality is a step backward.
  • The user interface and its “ease of use” is designed to mirror the worst of former competitors.

But man does that software now have Twitter’s feathers all over it.

You got it. It’s the Twitter brand and Twitter way (limited though it may be) – forced down our throats as if we didn’t have a brain or a choice. Did Twitter really think we’d accept these backward steps with joyous acclaim?

What are you thinking Twitter?? You bought the best tool in the market, had an opportunity to step up and expand to claim the space with innovation…and you blew it in your first act of Ego.

Here are my questions for Twitter – and for you as well. When you release new offerings to your buyers:

1. Do you listen to your own voices – or do you ask your market about their needs? It’s pretty obvious Twitter didn’t ask any power users of TweetDeck about their changes to the software. Who in their right mind would have suggested they take a step backward and mess with us all? And it is backward folks -if you haven’t tried it – DON’T until you absolutely have no other choice. It’s that bad – and that sad.

2. Do you understand what’s important to your users – or do you just assume? I don’t care how much you know about your markets and your offerings, NEVER assume you know your buyers, unless you talk to them, ask their inputs and LISTEN. Assuming that you can dictate what your customers’ want and need is your ego talking, not what’s best for your customers. It’s beyond obvious that Twitter didn’t care about how we all use Twitter – because they changed it to look more like other tools in the market, with less functionality. Do they really think we want the unwieldy User Interface of that competitor? Come on folks – we use Tweetdeck because its DIFFERENT.

3. Do you know that no matter how “popular” you may be, your customers have choices? I don’t think Twitter figured this one out. In fact, after years in the business my bet is that all the success, fame and glory created quite a bit of ego to feather the collective Twitter nest. And that’s only human nature. Which is why you have to avoid ego in business. The new TweetDeck has to be the result of ego – because it is doesn’t appear to be the result of strategic thinking focused on customer satisfaction…anything but.

You can argue that TweetDeck is a FREE tool so we should be satisfied with whatever functionality we get. WRONG. Price has nothing to do with serving users. Just because it’s Free doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want and ignore customers. That’s Ego, pure and simple.

Based on feedback so far – Twitter’s branding of TweetDeck is going to cost them, dearly. Everyone I’ve spoken with who has been forced to upgrade had pretty much the same reaction I did.

Many Tweetdeck users are actively searching for a new solution – TweetDeck has lost our support and loyalty. We’re frantically DMing sharing options…. We are leaving. Now I know that I’m only one user – and I’m sure Twitter didn’t think one or a few unhappy users could make a difference in their market leader world.

Here’s my response to Twitter (and any vendor who gets bigger than their britches).

We grow successful businesses thanks to our Value – as it is perceived by our buyers. When we force our brands, our ways, our limitations on our users and promote that as Value – that’s Ego. Ego creates the biggest Gravity downdraft of all as we focus on ourselves instead of our markets.

Twitter still has time to shift away from the Gravity of Ego and into Market Lift. How? By listening to and supporting your buyers.

If you continue to follow your Ego – be prepared for Tweetdeck to be grounded. It’s the Law of Gravity.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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