Return to our Home page Search
Click here for the hotel and hospitality news from around the globe Hotel, Travel and Hospitality Articles Videos and in-depth Interviews
Read more now
Read more now
Read more now
Single-Feature vs. All-in-One: The Tide Is Changing.
By Jack Aaronson
Saturday, 21st December 2013

Years ago, a former boss came to me with an idea for a new company, the idea was very small in scope, and it felt more like a 'feature' of a larger system than a company unto itself;

I told him that, and that I wasn't interested because the company could be eclipsed the moment that same feature was added to the competitor's larger application.

This is how I have felt in general about features vs. companies or applications. Look at Microsoft Outlook. It has my calendar, contacts, and email all under one roof. Apple, on the other hand, sees it fit to break these ideas into separate applications: Address Book, iCal, and Mail. It never made sense to me why I would want three separate applications open when I could have one application that did everything.
Then single-purpose mobile apps started being developed. On the iPhone or similar devices, there are lots of individual apps that each do one thing well, vs. apps that are multi-purpose.

In the enterprise world, we've always struggled with "best of breed" combinations of vendors, vs. the "giant" vendors whose systems do everything but maybe aren't the best in any specific area individually.
Ironically, I've always worked with clients to put together "best of breed" combinations of vendors, and rarely recommend they go with the large single-platform companies whose systems are often tough to customize and impossible to remove after the fact. But on the desktop (maybe because I was a Windows zealot for so long) I always preferred something like Outlook to using individual apps for each functionality.
Fast forward to online. When Twitter came out, it looked like all it did was one piece of the functionality Facebook already did: status updates. That's not a company, it's a feature.

And, it's not only an easily replicated feature, it's one that the competition already had. Instagram arguably has some features that Facebook doesn't have, but it is in essence also just a little slice of what Facebook is already doing (letting users share photos among their friends).
Yet obviously these "best of breed" single-functionality solutions are interesting to the general public. Otherwise Twitter wouldn't be valued so highly, and Facebook wouldn't want to buy Instagram for a billion dollars. What has changed?
Certainly the advent of mobile apps has conditioned users to go to different applications for different purposes, even if they are related (such as mail and contacts). Apple held to this idea long before mobile apps however, while most other companies saw the value in putting related items under one roof. Is this a situation where someone is "right" and someone else is "wrong"? I don't think so, but I do see them as two very opposing ideologies when it comes to program design and user experience.
The reality is that sometimes a system like Facebook is simply too large and cluttered if all you want to do is check out statuses. And maybe it's not the best if all you want to do is share pictures with friends (and be a little artistic in the process). This is exciting for a number of reasons.

First, it means that the robust functionalities of Facebook, Amazon, and other large sites are ripe for the picking. Find one piece of functionality (that they haven't patented) and do it better (and with your own flair). If it catches on you'll have a hit company and maybe those bigger guys will buy you.

Secondly, it means the war isn't over. If people use Twitter for status updates and Instagram for photo sharing, what's next? It is quite within the realm of possibility that cornerstones like Facebook won't be the hangout places they are now, because these smaller "single feature" sites/companies will have eroded their market share.
What do you think about these two very different approaches to building software and functionality? And, do you also sense a shift from "all-in-one" packages to "best of breed" single-functionality solutions? Leave me a note below!
Until next time…

Jack Aaronson, CEO of The Aaronson Group and corporate lecturer, is a sought-after expert on enhanced user experiences, customer conversion, retention, and loyalty. If only a small percentage of people who arrive at your home page transact with your company (and even fewer return to transact again), Jack and his company can help. He also publishes a newsletter about multichannel marketing, personalization, user experience, and other related issues. He has keynoted most major marketing conferences around the world and regularly speaks at and other major industry shows.

Advertise with ...[Click for More]

~ Important Notice ~
Articles appearing here contain copyright material. They are meant for your personal use and may not be reproduced or redistributed. While 4Hoteliers makes every effort to ensure accuracy, we can not be held responsible for the content nor the views expressed, which may not necessarily be those of either the original author or 4Hoteliers or its agents.

Learn more about DigiJames - in room technology
 Related Articles  (Click title to read)
Test Before You Launch, Virgin!
Cyber Crime Fighting.
Customer Service Advantage: Use Customer Feedback.
Digital That Enables Omni-Channel Customer Service.
 Latest News  (Click title to read article)
Ritz-Carlton reveals its secrets
Sunday, 20th April 2014

$3 3 Billion travel tech & internet spending binge
Sunday, 20th April 2014

TripAdvisor travel app reaches 100 million downloads
Saturday, 19th April 2014

Holiday Inn M4 Jct 4 refurbishes double-standard bedrooms
Saturday, 19th April 2014

Facebook and Twitter - Nothing there says Priceline
Friday, 18th April 2014
 Latest Articles  (Click title to read)
Are You Trying Too Hard, or Not Hard Enough?
Sunday, 20th April 2014

Do Your Job Descriptions Inspire Greatness?
Saturday, 19th April 2014

Creativity & Passion - Keys to Wowing and Returning Guests
Friday, 18th April 2014

The Critical Connection Between Resilient Workplaces And Diversity
Friday, 18th April 2014

Besides Training: How To Maximize Hotel Reservations Conversions
Thursday, 17th April 2014
 Most Read Articles  (Click title to read)
Global Update: Who's Where and Doing What - Jan 2014
The Top Trends in Search for 2014
The Digital Direction Part 1: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing and Why it is Vital Hotels Understand
Global Update: Who's Where and Doing What - Feb 2014
Expedia's Top Five Conversion Tips
 Useful Links  (Click company to visit)
A-Listings - Exclusive Links Section @ 4Hoteliers

Book Hotels & Travel

Connect with us at LinkedIn

Customized Hotel & Restaurant Equipment

Follow us on Twitter!

Hospitality Consultants ~ Lifestyle Concepts

Hospitality IT & Technology

Hotel Opening Processes: Exploring better ways to open new hotels.

ITB 2015 Marketing

Private, luxurious holiday villa in Valbonne

Sayang - For True Wine Lovers - Live Interviews

Wynamics ~ Working the Dynamics of Wine

ZIXI - Your Asian Partner: Advisory - Sourcing - Project Management - Market Entry

© Copyright 4Hoteliers 2001-2014 ~ unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved.
You can read more about 4Hoteliers and our company here

Use of this web site is subject to our
terms & conditions of service and privacy policy