What Does a California Roll Have in Common With Managed Services?

sushiThis: People don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently.

The California Roll is a great example of something familiar done differently.

And as a result provided a gateway to traditional Japanese sushi to westerners who were once terrified (and likely disgusted) by the idea of eating raw fish. Now, we can’t stop gobbling it up!

“When people face a behavior that is not routine, then they may not find it simple. In seeking simplicity, people will often stick to their routine, like buying gas at the same station, even if it costs more money or time than other options,” says  BJ Fogg of Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab.

Here’s the upshot:

  • The California Roll introduced Americans to sushi by using familiar ingredients arranged in a new way.
  • The California Roll Rule: People don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently.
  • Things that are truly new need to use familiar mental models to gain user adoptions (i.e., Apple’s use of skeuomorphs.)
  • Unfamiliar interfaces are more difficult to use and impede adoption.
  • If your new product or service is not engaging users, ask “What’s my California Roll?”

When describing the Apple Watch, Jony Ive said his goal was to build “the strangely familiar.”

Isn’t managed services the “the strangely familiar” of T&M break fix or even project services?

  1. Consider your best-selling service or solution
    1. Why is it selling? What do your customers like about it?
  2. Now take something that isn’t doing so well
    1. How can you leverage what’s working from #1 and position it as the “the strangely familiar” (and successful)?

Reference: Nir and Far: People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently