When's the last time someone broke into the conversation because they couldn't wait to tell you about a nondescript product or service that met some of their needs in a generic sort of way?
Unless your friends are broke and have found something free that would normally cost hundreds of dollars, it's not likely. People may be pleased when they find something that sort of meets their needs, but they don't get excited about it.
And excitement lies at the heart of generating word of mouth.
Software developer Eric Sink has an entertaining and enlightening piece about the need to narrow the focus of your product design so that it perfectly meets the needs of a group of people. Then you have potential for generating buzz, if buzz doesn't just bubble up by itself.
Designing something that sort of meets the needs of a huge group of people? Don't even think about word of mouth. And why are you even doing it in the first place?
Since I found the link to Eric's piece on Robert Scoble's blog, I'm officially declaring this Scoble Week on Mutually Inclusive PR. Next week I promise to look further afield for topics...
Update: I fixed the headline, which said "fizz' instead of "fizzle."
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