An interesting article in Wired magazine about the "good enough" revolution got me thinking. Products with fewer features and less than top shelf performance combined with lower price can become very successful because they do everything the majority of the market wants or needs. My weekend was a good example.
Over the last few days, I was at a family wedding out of town. As noted before, I now use an Acer netbook computer to stay connected while on the road, a little machine that does everything I need for a day or two (or longer in emergencies) without the need to cart around a much bigger laptop, ... it's definitely good enough. While sitting in the front row at the church, I made a video of the wedding on a Flip MinoHD, an amazing little video camera that has few whiz bang features but slips into your pocket and records 60 minutes of HD video. It's not a professional camera, but then, I'm not shooting professional videos, ... it's good enough. It's good enough because it does a few things really well, without trying to do everything just OK.
what consumers want from the products and services they buy is fundamentally changing. We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now is more important than having it perfect. These changes run so deep and wide, they're actually altering what we mean when we describe a product as "high-quality."
Take that idea a bit further and think about motorcycles. How much motorcycle do you need to get enough performance, enough of the time to say it's good enough? Forget the ABS, GPS, cruise control, paddle shift, traction control, variable valve timing, and instead how about a nice bike with all of the basics done really well? Can a manufacturer be brave enough to say, "No, this bike doesn't do any of that, but it's a great basic bike."
If you can't afford the perfect motorcycle, however you may define it, think about what you really need. How do you ride? How far, how fast, how often, solo or 2 up and then see what is out there to do the job. Is the biggest, fastest, high end machine maybe too much?
How well does this idea apply to the motorcycle market? How much motorcycle do you really want or need? What is good enough?