I am what Noel Gallagher from the band Oasis would call a square.
Squares are the majority. We are late adopters, we like to follow the herd and we like to feel comfortable. And we have cash.
We are what makes a product move from the fringe to the mainstream.
Gallagher jokingly said in one of his interviews that when the squares started liking Oasis they went from a hack pub band to one of the biggest bands in the world and they made a truck load of money.
So for a product to go mainstream you need squares.
The thing about us is we want things simple. Being the best tech platform or having the best bells and whistles on a product mean nothing to us unless we can use them.
When things get simple and easy to use then magical things happen.
Netscape made searching the internet simple. The internet was great but it was difficult to find anything. Netscape solved this.
Google made it even better, I have a question it gets answered. Now I know that advertisers are paying to be the top result, but as a buyer I want to know who the sellers are.
The smartphone is not just a phone, think about how many things it has replaced. It has made doing things simple.
I think Morgan Housel from Collaborative Fund summed it up beautifully in a blog post when he said “Make complicated things simple”.
Real life Square example
So I have been wrapping my head around Blockchain, and I can hear the groans already. However bear with me.
I stumbled upon the decentralised file sharing network called Storj.io. Now this was simple for me to understand. You have storage space on your computer and lease it out to someone who needs it. Or if you need space it is another alternative to Dropbox to rent storage space. A network of computers around the world using or leasing their free disk space.
When I searched other decentralised file sharing networks I found there were others like Sia, Filecoin (which I believe is not released yet).
I also found this discussion thread in a YCombinator forum and I thought it summed up the gap between the Developers and the Squares.
Look at the third comment down by “xvolter”. In short his comment was it is hard to use Sia and to be honest it was a pain in the arse.
His quote was… “Seems really annoying to get setup with Sia though.”
The next reply below this was from “Taek” who looks to be a founder of Sia, and he pointed out various reasons why the company has chosen to go down the road of being a bit more selective with whom it attracts.
These may all be valid reasons and as a square I do not know enough to question them.
But what I think I know is that the world will not conform to your way of thinking just because it is a better product. Squares just want it simple. Sia just seems to difficult for me to use.
However when I downloaded and started using Storj.io it was simple and I had it running in less than 5 minutes.
I do not care about the other technical details, I just lease out my spare computer disk space and stuff just happens in the background.
It may not be the best product technically or will be here in 5 years, but it was simple and it made me adopt.