TenX: A Case Study (Part 1)

Imagine if you will:
The time is 5:23pm, Saturday Oct 5th, 1996.
A phone book on a desk. The Personal Computer in the den, roughly 50 feet away. It is turned off. A modem sits on top of the computer case. There are 3 people in the room: a married couple and a man holding a stopwatch. The couple's instructions are to find a restaurant that serves pizza, pasta and accepts visa. The man with the stop watch says "Go." The woman picks up the phone book and begins browsing for the pizza and restaurant classifcations. The man has walked over to the pc and turned it on. 20 seconds later, the woman has located the pizza classification. The man is still booting up the pc. 40 seconds later, the woman is reading the pizza ads, the man is still booting up the pc. 60 seconds later, the woman has finished scanning the ads and has started to search for the restaurant classification. The man is now launching the modem dialer to the Internet. 2 minutes later, the woman has located the best two ads that fit the criteria. 4 minutes later, the man is launching the browser. 4 minutes 30 seconds later, the man is locating the yellow page website. 6 minutes later, conducting a web search, the man has located the same two ads meeting the criteria.

Summary: In 1996, due to the state of technology, a yellow page web site would not have met the 10x factor. The time and effort needed to access the information far outweighed the advantages of search technology. There was no primal motivation (or 10 times the advantage) for a consumer to change their existing habits.

Editor's Note:  This post was first published on 10/31/2007

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A Seasoned Technology Visionary possessing a deep understanding of technology and business processes.

Doug has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the technology and media markets. His broad career has ranged from leading Research and Development work for a 300+ million dollar company to an E-Government startup. His efforts have been recognized by major trade associations as well as Tier 1 clients.

Doug is now a private consultant and continues to provide his insights to the industry.