A lesson about ‘Friction’ for people that aren’t knee deep in startup theory.
It’s pretty regular, in the world of startups, to talk about friction. One of the core goals of any startup, any time you want a person to engage in new behavior really, is to minimize the amount of friction that exists between them not doing what you want, and them doing what you want.
You’ve felt friction before when someone said “Hey, you should try out this new service” and they ask for your email address and your credit card, and you think to yourself “Eh, I’ll do this later.”
Another extension of the concept of Friction, as it applies to Startups, is actually tied not just to the execution of your idea (Less Friction = More Likely To Adopt Your Solution) but the actual genesis of your idea (Reducing Friction In A Process = A Startup In and Of Itself).
Examples of this include
If you reduce the friction in inherent in…
Renting Movies you get Netflix (or Redbox).
Buying Books you get Amazon.
Well, hmm. That’s sort of setting a paradigm where reducing friction is just delivering something by mail, as opposed to making a person walk into a store. That’s one way, but another one would be um…
Text Messages reduce the friction of contacting someone if you only have one quick question. Or booty calls. It’s so much easier to just SMS “Come over…” then to actually have to call that person.
FourSquare reduces the friction of finding out places your friends (and strangers) liked to go, and where they were at that moment.
Pandora reduces the friction inherent to both discovering new music, and setting up playlists for parties.
The basic lesson here is you can increase your chances for success if you can reduce friction both with what your idea does, and in how your idea does what it does.
p.s. This post happened because I am procrastinating on utilizing the Facebook API to make it easier for people to log into my startup, without having to fill out an entire registration form.