Joining the nonfiction tradition of redefining simple concepts in terms of more complicated ones, technology journalist Maney presents theories of fidelity (consumer experience) and convenience (ease of getting/using products) to explain the success or failure of marketable goods. Terms like "fidelity swap" and "fidelity belly" are rife, but Maney's explanations boil down to the conflict between ego gratification and straight-up laziness: visit McDonalds, and you get an easy (cheap) meal while impressing nobody; attend Harvard and you'll impress people, but at an inconvenience cost of hard work and big money. Maney's plethora of examples range from Wal-Mart and Starbucks to newspapers and fashion labels: "A big part of fidelity is derived from a product's aura and identity... thus, $20,000 for a Hermes bag." Some honest insights do crop up-"High convenience is not about love, but about need... about habit"; "Mass is about convenience, and luxury is about fidelity. They can't coexist"-which might clue in general readers to the forces behind their shopping choices, but should prove old hat for experienced business readers.
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“A rare book that leaves you with a simple but profound way to build stronger products, organizations, and careers. Trade-Off introduces one of those ideas that will stick in your mind for decades. Get ready to re-think what differentiates success from failure.”
--Tom Rath, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Strengths Based Leadership
“What’s new out there, what’s good, and will it be around tomorrow? Kevin Maney has written a provocative and original exploration of some of the mysteries of our consuming lives: why, for instance, has Apple stayed hot and Motorola gone cold? Will Starbucks and Wal-Mart and American Airlines flourish or flop? Required reading for all CEOs; intriguing and entertaining for the rest of us.”
--Harold Evans, author of They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators
“This book demystifies success in the marketplace. Buy it, read it, learn from it and use it.”
--Keith Ferrazzi, bestselling author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back
“Moving deftly from Crocs to the Kindle, to Ozzy Osborne, to the daily newspaper, Kevin Maney shows how the trade-off between fidelity and convenience can make or break a business. He shares several success stories, of course. But even better, he tells us about some serious commercial bloopers. These cautionary tales alone are worth the price of this terrific book.”
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
"Trade-Off by Kevin Maney shows how the tug-of-war between quality and convenience can make or break a product, a brand, or even a company. This book puts a new slant on why we make the choices we make in the marketplace. A fresh and fascinating read!"
--Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and Leading at a Higher Level
“Packed with historical and contemporary case studies, Trade-Off is a practical guide to overcoming business dilemmas and steering your company toward long-term success. Kevin Maney offers straight talk about choosing winning strategies that will keep your brand strong.”
--Tom Kelley, bestselling author of The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation
“Unputdownable! Trade-Off will change the way you think about why some things–iphones or Coach bags–take off, while others fall by the wayside. It you want to understand why the marketplace works the way it does, read it–then read it again.”
--Linda Kaplan Thaler, bestselling author of The Power of Nice and The Power of Small
“...like Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling books Outliers and Blink, Maney presents a seemingly simple premise and the evidence to support it -- as well as various factors that can complicate it.”
“Worth a read for another take on shifting ideas of quality.”
From the Hardcover edition.
I have no clue why this is not mandatory reading in every business school. I use the methods taught in this book in practically every business decision I make.Published 7 months ago by Adam Smith
** spoiler alert ** Kevin Maney’s Trade-off is about the constant exchange of fidelity and convenience. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Timohty James Ernst
Technology journalist Kevin Maney coined the term "fidelity swap" to describe the choice consumers make between "convenience" and "fidelity," which is the quality of the experience... Read morePublished on June 28, 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
I really enjoyed reading this book... It gives you a different frame of thinking that can be very valuable when applying it to small biz. Read morePublished on March 21, 2010 by ROBERTO DE LEON
If overwhelmed and not sure where to go with a business "Trade-Off" is a good, simple book to help start the process of stepping back, orienting, and deciding. Read morePublished on January 29, 2010 by Gary Monti
Tiffany's Sells Swatches! Extremely unlikely, given there pull-back on $100 Charms because they recognized the trade-off they were making in serving that Customer verses serving... Read morePublished on January 23, 2010 by Gary B. Cohen
I only knew Kevin well-enough to say hello in the elevator in 1991 when he and I worked in different departments at USA Today. Read morePublished on January 23, 2010 by Holland Cooke
Tucked in Neal Stephenson's wonderful book Snow Crash is this comparison in a fictional future where all highways are owned by corporations:
"CSV-5 has better... Read more
I found this to be a fine book, though I did not find that it stretched my thinking much. It uses a simple paradigm and once you grasp it from the first several pages, the rest of... Read morePublished on November 29, 2009 by Florida Beachcomber