The new barriers to adoption for your startup

If you have a  Internet / Web / Software startup and are looking to either a) raise money or b) hire people or c) sell to your customers or pretty much do anything “normal” any other startup would do you’ve heard this question before: “But I do this right now with (a) + (b) + (c) + cut and paste…”

Lets say you answer that question with something that buys you 30 seconds from your audience and you get to a demo or better you have an alpha product that you’d like some feedback from potential customers on. Here are some new barriers to adoption that you’ll face.

1. Application better work super FAST. Response times have to be immediate, not quick. You’ll get this from customers more now thanks to Google. Every application is now expected to have google type response. Regardless of how immature the application is. The only exception is Twitter. What did they do to deserve that billing? Point #2

2. Instant gratification: The users expect to do nothing and get value. I gave you my email, should that not be enough? Figure it out. I give you something I want 10X value back ASAP. I dont blame them at all. As a user myself I have little time for web applications that give me value only after I add 100000 people to my “friends list”.

3. Allows users to make mistakes but still works. As in why does your search not recommend things to me? I misspelled “Michael” and forgot the e. Your application should prompt me to the right keyword.

4. Make the first impression seamless: If your first 3-5 clicks / keystrokes are not intuitive or productive, then the user has lost confidence in your site. Used to be in the enterprise software world users were convinced they were doing it wrong and the software was right. Nowadays the users are smarter. Even if they are wrong, then expect the software to get it right.

your thoughts?