Scott Adams Blog: High Ground Maneuver 07/19/2010

I have long had a name for Jobs' clever move. I call it the "High Ground Maneuver." I first noticed an executive using it years ago, and I've since used it a number of times when the situation called for it. The move involves taking an argument up to a level where you can say something that is absolutely true while changing the context at the same time. Once the move has been executed, the other participants will fear appearing small-minded if they drag the argument back to the detail level. It's an instant game changer.

For example, if a military drone accidentally kills civilians, and there is a public outcry, it would be a mistake for the military to spend too much time talking about what went wrong with that particular mission. The High Ground Maneuver would go something like this: "War is messy. No one wants civilians to die. We will study this situation to see how we can better avoid it in the future."

Notice that the response is succinct, indisputably true, and that the context has been taken to a higher level, about war in general. That's what Jobs did. It's a powerful technique, and you can use it at home.

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Shelf life of apps (aka. HOW TO: Develop iPhone Apps With Staying Power)

An app’s shelf life lasts exactly as long as it can hold users’ attention. iPhone owners chew through apps, gulping down their content, then tossing them out and moving on. Studies show that the average user never launches an app more than 20 times before abandoning it. Less than 15% of downloaded apps get so much as a glance over the course of a week, and two months after purchase, only one-third of downloaded apps ever get used again.

This may not matter to you if your goal is to build one-off novelty apps; in that case, you might even expect people to launch your app only a few times. Laugh delivered, mission accomplished. If you’re trying to grow a following for your app, however, this is uncomfortable news. According toone survey, nearly half of all apps are downloaded based on a friend’s recommendation. Loyal users spread the word, but few apps ever manage to create a huge fan base. If you’re trying to create a long-term relationship with your audience, your app has to keep giving.

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Mobile First at YouTube?

Product Owners, rise up!

Great social web example of fiercely loyal product owners rallying around their favorite social object to -- counteract what they perceive to be negative web press that doesn't adequately represent their product.

If I were on the fence about buying this camera, stumbling across the DP Review forum thread below would do wonders for bolstering my confidence. Which is exactly what these product owners intend.

Is this one of the reason that Google so prioritizes user generated content in its search algorithm?

Moral of the story: Have awesome product that speaks into the hearts of your customers (ie. "purple cow," a la Seth Godin) and your fans will rally on your behalf.

But it all begins with the product. The Internet slices right through the marketing spin. There's an authenticity to these product owners congregating and self-organizing.

Similarly, can we build product that inspires such fierce loyalty?

(Purple cow = build something "remarkable" = something worth talking about.)

Sent from iPhone

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Tabs, tabs, and more tabs

Love it or hate it, but here's an example of a site that handles 4 (arguably 5) stacked levels of navigation with relative grace. In comparison, we get clumsy with 3!

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