How to Achieve Mass Adoption

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, calls the strategy behind Google’s success the “max strategy” and he think it will come to define information markets. Basically it entails taking whatever it is you are doing and do it to the max in terms of distribution.

Schmidt often gives the example of a TV show. Imagine that you are the creators of The Sopranos. You wonder how we’re going to distribute it. As it happens you’ve got a friend at HBO and they’ve agreed to do a weekly series and put up the money to fund that. Great but this is only part of the strategy. You decide you need a blog to build some attention before it airs. As the release date inches closer you hire a PR firm to get press. You create a Facebook page and release a viral video. After the show launches you take the extra footage that didn’t make it into each episode and upload this to youtube. You host a contest asking viewers for what scene that didn’t get put in that you should have put in… and etc.

The max strategy tries to find a way to take your core idea and distribute it into every possible niche of consumer attention. Maybe only a core distribution channel actually makes money — the HBO deal — but all the others contribute to its success.

In economic terms we call this “complements”. Mass adoption can be achieved by using products or services that tend to be consumed together, such as beer and salted peanuts, to drive additional awareness of your main product.