Trade-Off by Kevin Maney
Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't

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A Fresh and Important New Way to Understand Why We Buy

Why did the RAZR ultimately ruin Motorola? Why does Wal-Mart dominate rural and suburban areas but falter in large cities? Why did Starbucks stumble just when it seemed unstoppable?

The answer lies in the ever-present tension between fidelity (the quality of a consumer’s experience) and convenience (the ease of getting and paying for a product). In Trade-Off, Kevin Maney shows how these conflicting forces determine the success, or failure, of new products and services in the marketplace. He shows that almost every decision we make as consumers involves a trade-off between fidelity and convenience–between the products we love and the products we need. Rock stars sell out concerts because the experience is high in fidelity-–it can’t be replicated in any other way, and because of that, we are willing to suffer inconvenience for the experience. In contrast, a downloaded MP3 of a song is low in fidelity, but consumers buy music online because it’s superconvenient. Products that are at one extreme or the other–those that are high in fidelity or high in convenience–-tend to be successful. The things that fall into the middle-–products or services that have moderate fidelity and convenience-–fail to win an enthusiastic audience. Using examples from Amazon and Disney to People Express and the invention of the ATM, Maney demonstrates that the most successful companies skew their offerings to either one extreme or the other-–fidelity or convenience-–in shaping products and building brands.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Kevin Maney

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Kevin Maney is a reporter for the "Money" section of USA Today. His business column regularly appears in USA Today and, via the Gannett News Service, 25 other newspapers, including the Seattle Times and the Detroit News. Over the past few years, Mr. Maney has produced more than 30 cover stories on the subject of technological convergence for USA Today.
Published September 4, 2009 by Crown Business. 240 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Joining the nonfiction tradition of redefining simple concepts in terms of more complicated ones, technology journalist Maney presents theories of fidelity (consumer experience) and convenience (ease

Sep 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Ca...


Trade-Off: The Ever-Present Tension Between Quality and Convenience Kevin Maney Broadway Books (2009).

Sep 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Ca...

Cairo 360

The first man on the moon is barely mentioned and his wife is not even named, even though the Apollo 11 mission is discussed in the book.

Mar 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Ca...

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