Sometimes customers are constrained by the environment they are working or living in. People living in dorms or apartments or working in cubicles may not be able to take advantage of a solution that requires them to make changes to their physical space.


Parents of young children may not be able to benefit from a solution that requires two hands or rapt concentration. (Product designer Anne Halsall writes, “For the first three weeks of our son’s life, I didn’t touch a computer I couldn’t use with one hand…an iPad mini immediately became my primary computer.”)* Many environmental limitations are not permanent.


Consider noise, poor weather, crowded physical space, unreliable Internet access, or the distance between points A and B. They simply add a small amount of additional friction, which is often enough to inhibit customer behaviors. Of course, most customers face some sort of resource constraints. It’s critical to understand which resources are scarce. A busy working parent is less likely to spend time in order to save money; a college student often has the opposite inclination. At KISSmetrics, many of our early customers had limited engineering resources. This meant that they were willing to trade a shorter installation and setup process for a longer one that could be accomplished mostly by nonengineers.