Here’s just a quick reminder that homemade products stick out like a sore thumb. Have you ever encountered a product that was clearly not professionally produced? They just look awful, and one look at them screams, “Homemade!” or “Unprofessional!” It doesn’t take long for consumers to sniff you out and flee.
This past weekend, my wife and I stayed at a little ‘mom and pop’ motel in a little town in Colorado. With one step into the room, I got a good reminder of this issue. (See the pics below from my crap phone) The entertainment cabinet was hand-painted, and looked awful. I nearly fled the room, but decided the cost was cheap enough to entice me to stay. It turned out fine. But ugly little piece of artwork really drove this point home to me.
Consumers do not like hand-crafted products.
Let’s face it… we live in a consumer-oriented world. Almost every product we touch is machine made, and professionally crafted for maximum emotional indulgence. Think about the indulgent products you use on a daily basis: $50,000 automobiles… iPhones… stylish eyeglasses… jewelry… and more. Every product we use it slick and well-designed. So consumers are used to those kinds of products. Now slap and homemade software product in front of them, and watch them flee! Or a poorly polished plastic drinking cup… or any other product you can imagine. Consumers expect high quality.
This issue is especially true in software, where programmers are sometimes responsible for developing the entire product from code to help files to graphics. Software developers just don’t have the talents for all those jobs, and it’s very obvious when they try. The results are a lot like the Riviera Motel. Can you guess where it’s located?