When a popular rock group comes to town, some of their fans won’t get great tickets. Not enough room in the front row. Now they’re annoyed. 2% of them are angry enough to speak up or badmouth or write an angry letter.
When Disney changes a policy and offers a great new feature or benefit to the most dedicated fans, 2% of them won’t be able to use it… timing or transport or resources or whatever. They’re angry and they let the brand know it.
Do the math. Every time Apple delights 10,000 people, they hear from 200 angry customers, people who don’t like the change or the opportunity or the risk it represents.
If you have fans or followers or customers, no matter what you do, you’ll annoy or disappoint two percent of them. And you’ll probably hear a lot more from the unhappy 2% than from the delighted 98.
It seems as though there are only two ways to deal with this: Stop innovating, just stagnate. Or go ahead and delight the vast majority.
Sure, you can try to minimize the cost of change, and you might even get the number to 1%. But if you try to delight everyone, all the time, you’ll just make yourself crazy. Or become boring.