This is “The Downside of Lock-in”, section 10.4 from the book Creating Services and Products (v. 1.0). For details on it (including licensing), click here.

For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. To download a .zip file containing this book to use offline, simply click here.

Has this book helped you? Consider passing it on:
Creative Commons supports free culture from music to education. Their licenses helped make this book available to you. helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators.

10.4 The Downside of Lock-in

A consistent theme of this book is that companies must pursue innovation and differentiation constantly. Locking in your customers does not mean you can abandon innovation and let your products and service languish in mediocrity. Because consumers will eventually abandon your products and services and you will eventually fade from the marketplace. As we have said in an earlier chapter, people want to control their environment and they do not want to be controlled. Google has been very proactive on this front because they realize that lock-in is very transitory and they have attempted to engender trust through innovation.Fitzpatrick and Lueck (2010). Cable companies were able to lock-in their customers because there was very little competition. The landline cable companies avoided innovation and they treated their customers poorly. It is only recently that they have been able to shirk their earlier image and begin to engender trust and acceptance in the marketplace. All businesses must change, even if it is only in the minds of consumers, or they will eventually be abandoned.