I still have a soft spot for the Bellevue Behemoth, I enjoy a Windows Phone 7 after all! Yet I can’t hide my disappointment with their new G+/Pinterest competitor So.cl having logged in for the first time today.
There was a time only a few years back when a Consumer Preview or Beta could be rough-as-guts bad – and early adopters would still evangelise the intent even though they had to cut the execution some slack!
However I think the world has moved on. Looking at innovation through a Lean Startup lens it feels appropriate to cut features in favour of capability when time to market is important. Yet what Microsoft have done with So.cl is enabled 100% of the product features at the expense of capability, in fact, I get errors at pretty much every turn!
In such a competitive market, when trial, adoption and subsequent user engagement/feedback is so critical, I think Microsoft are about the blow the advocacy available from that first wave of geek-adopters as a result of their surprisingly poor execution, a potentially fatal blow for a Network-effects dependent platform.
As an innovator the formula to success seems straightforward, annoy fewer customers than you delight and your advocacy will grow.
Sadly, Microsoft are engaging on a very dangerous battlefield with So.cl, I imagine their their enemies are moving in for the kill already. Another Wave anyone?