Critical Mass

Certain products require you to pass a particular critical mass before they will work. Imagine trying to sell e-mail or a fax machine to the first customer. The benefits are theoretically the same, but with whom could your customer communicate? Lotus got around this when they released their Notes groupware product by selling a minimum of 200 licenses per company. This ensured that users had someone to talk to. It also ensured that only larger companies adopted it initially because only they could afford the initial cost ($62,000). The strategy also gave Lotus prestigious user names such as Price Waterhouse from the outset to use as references.

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