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Dash runs out of road

How value exchange is key when designing a disruptive service

We at Vesta were never much fans of the Dash button, and we weren’t alone. When you have to assure the world that your product isn’t an April Fool’s joke, it must be a rough day to work in marketing. Now the dash buttons are being withdrawn, there is value in assessing why this ambitious and bold, but flawed product missed out on mainstream adoption.

Dash was never claiming environmental credentials to be fair to it, but the rather glib one-button re-ordering of all that packaging was one of the things that inspired Vesta’s creation. However, the main reason behind its demise is about the experience and value it offered. A consideration of value exchange offers a useful way to understand service adoption, and we’ve voiced our concerns about Terracycle’s Loop in a similar way.

What did Dash offer? Simple ordering and a potential time saver. Sounds good, but what did it ask for?

  • Own a button per product
  • Don’t lose or break any of the buttons
  • (at some point) recharge the buttons (we never quite understood how that would work)
  • Restrict button access to responsible individuals
  • Buy the buttons in the first place

Listed like that, the convenience Dash was trying to deliver was clearly more than offset by the  demands the service made on its users. A really disruptive service must offer more than it takes to be successful. The iPod is a wonderful example of this. It asked us to effectively burn most of our invested capital in music collections and go digital. For those of us with a giant pile of CDs (we might be showing our age here!), there was a process of copying them all to MP3. One by one. Which took hours.

But we did it, because it offered more. All of everything we wanted to listen to. Anywhere. It outweighed the inconvenience of the change.

At Vesta, our packages offer fully automated re-ordering that is completely integrated. A single scan of our packages through Vesta’s store room application is the only step end-users need to take, and everything else is taken care of. It remains to be seen if our value exchange is the right one for mass adoption, but we believe that combining real convenience with the chance to eliminate single-use plastic is one that will work.

Amazon scraps Dash buttons

Amazon scraps Dash buttons

Amazon stops selling its Dash buttons because shoppers are using other methods to buy products.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47416440