Does your product fit into my life and make it awesome?

I absolutely love this Apple ad …

Whenever it comes on, I completely stop whatever it is I’m doing and watch it.

There is another ad I love almost as much, and its this one by google

What I love about these ads is how they tell you a story.

One in which the product is just a supporting actor.

A story of how their technology fits into your life and makes it awesome.

You see, some people can relate to wanting to have a cooler phone than the other person.

Some people can relate to having a more expensive car or getting a table at that impossible-to-get-reservations restaurant.

Yeah, people get off on having stuff that no-one else has.

But that is a small subset of human aspiration.

The things people really want are usually much simpler than that.

People want to see things they’ve never seen before, go places they’ve never been, hang out with people they like, eat awesome food, have someone think they’re attractive … even sexy … then share all those with people they know

People want to make their friend laugh, have them think they’re a riot.

People really just want simple things things most of the time.

So you can actually make your product huge by showing people how it helps them do the little things.

How you seamlessly fit into their life and make it awesome.

If you can do that … You’ve won.

Thats how facebook got big.

Thats how instagram got big.

Thats how the ipad got big.

They are personal awesomeness force multipliers.

As an example, shows you breathtakingly beautiful places that it has listed when you arrive at the site.

They fade in and out in the background.

Pazin, Croatia. Barcelona, Spain. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Beautiful homes, in beautiful places. for $80 a night!

It makes your imagination run wild. You start to wonder …

“A plane ticket would be … ,”

“If I stayed 2 nights I could do this for less than …”

You start to create your own story in your head. because you can’t help it, you’re human.

And without even seeing a single ad, you’re hooked.

Because airbnb can fit into your life and make it way awesome.

So the question if you’re a product maker is … Whats your story?

How does your thing seamlessly fit into my life and make it awesome?

Relevant: Want to Increase a Product’s Value by 2,706%? Give It a Story

On craftsmanship and turning customers into fans

“Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things.”
— Lawrence Bell

This morning, while I was getting ready for work, I picked my French Soccer jersey from a pile of clothes I had laundered last week and I noticed this, right behind where the Crest for the French Football Federation (facing outwards) sits on the chest of the jersey …

Turns out it  means “our differences unite us“.
Tres inspirer.

The quote sits right above a player’s heart while they have the jersey on (presumably striving for their country at the same time), and it hits so close to home on the issues the French have had historically, dealing with diversity, that I imagine a player would have a hard time forgetting it once they’ve seen it. Its also put in a place where jersey makers typically expend the least effort (Adidas is notorious for this, some of their replica jerseys are so uncomfortable because the insides are horribly tailored). Its the perfect blend of sentimentality and craftsmanship.

Needless to say, I’m a little bit more of a Nike and French Soccer team fan than I was yesterday, and all because of a silly little thing like an inspiring message on the inside of a soccer jersey.

It got me thinking about a Steve Jobs anecdote I had read a while ago.

In an interview a few years later, after the Macintosh came out, Jobs again reiterated that lesson from his father: “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

How does this apply to software?

The little things matter. The craftsmanship of your product, the care you show on tiny things like 404 pages, error messages, and page layouts looking perfect in all browsers … or even unseen things like formatting your code beautifully, or leaving instructive comments become part of the dna of your creation; that intangible signal of ‘high quality’ and sentiment that draws people in without them knowing why.

Its just the sort of thing that might turn a customer into a fan.

PS: A fantastic place to see brilliant little design touches, pertaining to software is Little Big Details.