Seth Godin recently penned a blog post arguing that “good enough” is sometimes good enough.
Just about everything that can be improved, is being improved. If you define “improved” to mean more features, more buttons, more choices, more power, more cost. I wonder, though, if “good enough” might be the next big idea. Audio players, cars, dryers, accounting… not the best ever made, not the most complicated and certainly not the most energy-consuming. Just good enough.
The principle of “good enough” has much to do with the power of radio.
When you have a form of entertainment that is entrenched, popular, ubiquitous, and incredibly easy you have something which is “good enough” no matter how bad some say it is (and most, by the way, don’t).
Now I’m not saying your radio station is “good enough.” I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to improve or to please your audience more. This must always be your goal. It’s not your radio station which is “good enough” but the medium of radio itself.
In a universe of complicated, confusing, and competing audio entertainment and information technologies – of Internet radio and satellite radio and iPods and the like – what could be more “good enough” than radio?
Although the music biz zealots will find this hard to accept, the average Joe has a few favorite stations and a few dozen favorite songs – and all of the above can generally be found at the touch of a button or three on the radio. No buying and installing of hardware required. No dozens of niche channels necessary. The listener has comfortable habits and favorite voices and all those are close at hand on a radio near you.
“For some people,” Seth says, “a clean towel is a clean towel.” It does what you need as well as you need it done.
That is not a criticism of the towel. It’s praise for the elegant functionality that makes any further modification irrelevant and superfluous.
And that is why radio rules.
What does this mean for satellite radio? What does it mean for HD radio?
I know. Do they?