The Boneyard Principle: Why the Next Big Thing will Emerge from a Failed Idea - Deepstash

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The Boneyard Principle

The Boneyard Principle

Most successful consumer social products walk through a boneyard of failures before achieving victory.

Before TikTok came Vine, before Tinder came Match.com, and before Instagram and Snap came Flickr.

Each of these groups shared the similar high-level ideas of social video, dating, or social photos. But the boneyard often hid big ideas in plain sight. "There are very few genuinely new ideas," as Marc Andreessen "Invention happens over long periods of time, by lots of very smart people playing each others’ ideas against each other."

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UX Goal: Fewer decisions, fewer risks

Why do some consumer social products finally make it big after a series of misses? It's the UX details — particularly, those that help people make fewer decisions and take fewer risks. 

The more opinionated an app is about how it should be used, the easier it is for users to act without fear of rejection. Products benefit from giving people the plausible deniability to say: “I’m not seeking attention, I’m just doing what this app tells me to do!” 

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TikTok vs Vine

TikTok vs Vine

Vine invented the short form video content but their UX was not as good. 

Setup: With Vine you had to go through 10 steps before u could begin. But as soon as you opened TikTok you saw entertaining videos—time to satisfaction was instant. You didn’t have to worry about making an account...

Navigation: Vine had Home & Explore. In Explore you had “Editor’s Picks,” “Popular Now,” or “All Posts.” You could search or tap tags. As a new user, you wouldn’t know what each term meant. Decisions. Stress. In TikTok u didn't had to decide which tab to view—you just swipe to the next video. 

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CURATED BY

vladimir

Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.

What is the UX secret behind consumer products? Opinionated constraints. Do you think Deepstash could be more radical in its UX?

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