Demo candy may not be sweet after all

Hey, it is Halloween time, so let us talk about some candies. Heard the term “demo candy”? – almost all of you probably have. Features that are thrown into a product because it appeals to the emotions of the buyer but basically a feature of less practical value.

But there are some demo candies that are going to be hard to defend. Everyone these days is talking about the iPhone. iPhone has such sex appeal – so should vendors need to jump on this bandwagon and build demo candies? Probably not, unless both of the following are true:

  1. Vast number of your customers (at least 30%) are heavy users of iPhone.
  2. Users have the need to interact with your application so often that they are very likely to use the iPhone to use your application.

If either of the above is not true, then it is not worth developing support for iPhone. For example, vendors in the HR space have started developing mobile support for career management and performance reviews. Now think about this for a second, can there be a convincing argument that you need access to these apps so often that you need to get to them via a mobile phone? And even if they did, can you imagine filling out a performance review form using the tiny mobile phone screen? Does it improve usability – No? So what does this actually solve. In my mind, nothing and I am not sure this demo candy is going to be sweet after all?

One can argue that more customers will own iPhones in the near future but what about point 2. Even if 100% of your customers have iPhones, will they need (and even want) to interact with your product via the iPhone? That is the most important question you need to answer.

Or am I completely missing something? Your thoughts?

Photo source:

3 thoughts on “Demo candy may not be sweet after all”

  1. gopal, great point. certainly a balance is needed. I see all of these “iphone apps” being introduced and wondered the exact same sentiment — who has time to use all of them?

    BUT.. I was always curious on the impact of the “cool” factor. Take your days at SW. How many SW users are iphone users? Perhaps a descent amount.

    But imagine the wow factor of seeing edrawings on an iphone. It would certainly be “cool”, but would it sell more seats of software?

  2. I’m a supporter of mobile technologies and I have to agree with you on this. Besides – aren’t performance reviews supposed to be personal? If you’re using an iPhone where is your computer, your officer or simply your notepad to enter information later if that’s more your style. Hard candy.

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