At a time when free is rapidly becoming the operative modality of the digital universe, we can only expect to be paid for the ideas, products and services we offer when they are perceived to have usefulness that moves potential customers to invest.
Value and investment increase when utility is combined with endurance—security, stability, continuing relevance. In the absence of these, what appears to be promising quickly reverts to rejection and brand negativity.
Yet utility and endurance on their own are simply tickets that get you minimally past the free/paid gatekeeper. The essential ingredients for immediate and sustainable differentiation and market-defining value accretion are joy in use and depth of emotional connection. It is only through the evocation of sheer joy in use and interaction with our products that the ultimate path to full potential performance—recurrently transforming customers into passionate advocates—can be achieved and sustained.
This is far from new information. The ancient Roman architect, Vitruvious, in his ground-breaking book de Architectura, identified commodity (usefulness), firmness (stability, security, the strength to endure) and delight (joy in use and access) as the key ingredients in architecture that rises above the rest.
Think about it. Commodity, firmness and delight—just as applicable to your web site, blog, mobile phone, tablet computer, automobile, toaster and the important conversation you intend to open today as to architecture.
Commodity, firmness and delight—these are your goals today, tomorrow and each day after.