Building consumer facing products and services is hard

I think it is hard to build a brand new consumer facing product or service. Why? Because that product or service has to strike a chord with not just a handful of people, but the masses.

To strike a chord with the masses, it really requires
  • A deep understanding of the target customer, and belief that the insights you have about the customer apply to the larger population, but that these insights have not been noticed yet by others.
  • A shared vision among everyone that is working on it. This is despite the product being so new that what you are building is intangible and could be interpreted numerous ways by numerous people.
  • A product that satisfies consumers' needs in ways they might not have anticipated, and which is currently not done so by other offerings.
  • A world class team that can develop each aspect of the product or service to the highest possible standard for the consumer experience sought.
  • Technology, and other supply components, that are mature enough to provide the quality that is necessary for the product to be successful.

A consumer facing product that does all this, and more, is of course the iPad.