People let their dogs roam around biting everything and peeing on everything else in my neighborhood and it’s getting out of hand.
Companies do the same when they release content too early. The community floods forums with feedback while the outward appearance is that the company is sitting back doing nothing while the user base just slams their design turning hype into hatred. The cause? Besides greed, a fear of new or alien things, xenophobia coupled with technophobia. I was recently at a meeting for a new website early in its development. I brought up Twitter and was looked at like I dropped the F-bomb. “People can say bad things about us on Twitter though.” Isn’t it better to hear about what people don’t like so you can fix it?
If people don’t pull their heads out of the sand and take their hands off their ears one thing will happen, nothing. They’ll be like everyone else. It will stay that way till one organization gets a little more competitive than everyone else. When that happens is when you’ll see innovation. So they release and it’s humdrum and clients are asking, “What is this we expected more from this organization? You’ve always come across as so trendy/forward thinking/easy to access.”
Then you’ve got everyone either accepting fate, locked in the mindset they were right and expecting people to come around to their way of thinking, or scrambling to change it.
What’s the solution? What’s the work around, the compromise? Research for one. If you’re serious about making something and doing it better than your competitors, dig! If you’re too busy, hire someone. There’s so much innovation out there right now between RSS and web applications like Twitter that you really can have that positive environment that gets your current user base involved, maintains their interest and makes them talk about you to everyone they know because, most likely, no one else is doing it. Why, because they’re locked in the mindset that the Internet is full of nothing but negative people who are just waiting in the wings to shoot you down at the first opportunity.
If you’re afraid, good. All new opportunities are filled with potential and fraught with danger. New is difficult. New is unexplored. You can find a guide for anything on the web but if you’re not willing to try something or to work on something a little harder and longer than you expect the competition did than you’ll only ever meet mediocre results.