Newsweek recently inverviewed Steve Jobs. They asked him this question: "Microsoft has announced its new iPod competitor, Zune. It says that this device is all about building communities. Are you worried?"
Jobs: "In a word, no. I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable."
Everybody knows that simple, practical, low tech solutions are sometimes the best. But how can marketers tell the difference? How do you know when you've drifted into over-engineering mode, wasting your time and energy on solving a problem which can be solved much more simply through a lower tech solution?
What does this have to do with Welcome? Think e-coupon versus paper coupon. Loyalty versus promotional marketing. Or lots of other similar topics that we have all been talking about.
And what does this have to do with payments in general? Think e-cash that was designed as a complex, high-tech solution to replicate cash, but that turned out less useful than cash because cash is accepted everywhere and cards never will be. How does this relate to recent hot topics like contactless and mobile payments? Don't even get me started. I'm not going to go there ...