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Seth Thinks We Need Rolling Control Boxes For Teenagers

Seth describes a rolling prison for teenage drivers. His list of features caters to the “safety at all costs” world view of baby-boomer parents with teenagers but it misses completely the need to teach teenagers respect, responsibility and competence behind the wheel. Here's what Seth proposes:

A car for teenagers.
It is, after all, a matter of life and death.
A car for teenagers is very different than a car for everyone else. The biggest reason is that a car for teenagers is rarely purchased by a teenager, so a third party (probably the parent) has a lot of leverage over what the car actually does.
So, what does a parent want? 
Low powered 
Cheap
Great gas mileage (more cheap)
Funky looking 
Allows easy attachment/customization of side panels 
Not embarrassing!
Requires breathalyzer test to start 
Easy to set, hard to hack speed limiter 
Constant GPS reporting via wimax or cellphone, allowing the owner of the car to see where it is Constant speed reporting via wimax or cellphone, with easy to set alerts by cell phone 
Location lock out, making it easy for the owner to set the range of the vehicle or the roads traveled
All this technology is easy to sync by computer or phone
Lots of airbags 
ID card key making it easy to charge the driver per use, treat different drivers differently, including usage time.

This sounds to me like the very definition of embarrassing. Why not add bright orange paint and boat dock bumpers all around the car.
Why do I bring it up? Seth is intuiting the features that he feels the customers of a car for their teenager want. His laundry list of features is one full of technology that serves a set physical function. It controls and micro manages the teenagers use of the vehicle. These features have unforeseen ramifications. These monitor and control functions do not teach the necessary skills needed for future success as a vehicle driver. What these features would teach teens is how to rebel and game the systems to do what they want to do with the vehicles anyway.
The breakdown here is between the customer intuition that caters exclusively to the desires of the purchase decision maker versus the needs and desires of the end user. This kind of breakdown happens everyday. Are you experiencing a gap between what the purchaser of your product or service needs or wants and what the ultimate end user needs and wants?
How are differences these two constituencies resolved in your experience? If you cater to just one group how does it effect sales?

Seth's New Car

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July 13, 2005 in award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Business newsletter | Permalink

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Tracked on Jul 14, 2005 6:15:07 AM

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