Don't Change User Behavior: What Coin Gets Right

When I saw Coin, the all-in-one card, buying it was a no brainer.  Instead of carrying three credit cards, a bank card, and a host of other random plastic in my wallet, I get to carry one card.

No convincing my friends to join some social payment network.

No shaking, waving, bumping, twirling or any other things I've never done to have to pay for anything.  

No worries that if my phone runs out of battery, I won't find myself in first world technology induced poverty.

Swipe like usual, but better.

There's something to be said for just letting people do what they do normally, but using technology to make it better.  I don't know if that means that Coin will be a great company, but as a product, I can't wait to get mine.

Fitbit and other wearables get this right as well.  Snap it on and then--just do what you normally do.  Walk, eat, sleep, done.  It works without you haven't to remember to record a workout, check-in, or push a button.

Canary, a portfolio company of mine, takes advantage of this in the security space.  Millions of people install ADT and then forget to set it or can't remember their codes--because it's a new behavior.  For years and years, I've been walking into my apartment without having to type in a code.  If I suddenly got ADT, I'd probably never remember to set it--but Canary is just set it and forget it, only letting me know when unusual stuff is happening in my apartment.  I love services that work so discreetly that I might not even remember that I have them--instead of needing me to remember to use them.

Perhaps this is a common theme in my portfolio.  SocialSignIn, software that turns wifi into an engaging social marketing channel, operates on the same premise.  Tons of venues are already providing wifi.  End users, well, we've already been mindlessly seeking out open wifi nodes like little bandwidth zombies for years.  (WIFI=BRAINS!! in this analogy.)

This kind of product development comes from an insightful entrepreneur who is a great observer--someone who often has a diverse network or likes people watching.  If all your friends are just like you, and you're a young tech geek, you're more likely to believe that people will change habits to do some cool thing that your friends are doing.  "Normals" and people who aren't 22 tend to be a little more engrained in their habits--so services have to come to them versus the other way around.