A fridge that asks your neighbors to borrow butter.

Network effects are an important part of a product or service.

Designing that into your product is one way to do it. Imagine a refrigerator that if located in an apartment talked to the other refrigerators there. If you were out of butter, it could check who had some and ask you if you would like to ask them to borrow some. If you’re in a friendly community it’s a boost that everyone has the refrigerator.

This then becomes a selling point for the apartment complex, “We’re all friendly here.” “The Friendliest Apartments in XXXX County.” Friendly people talk to other people, which is also a network effect.

Design the network into the product, but don’t forget the audience the network works on doesn’t have to be everyone. There is plenty of people who don’t like to share. This one isn’t for them.

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