A great example of designing switching costs into a business model is Apple’s introduction of the iPod in 2001. Do you remember how Steve Jobs heralded his new product with the catchphrase “thousand songs in a pocket”? Well, that was more than a product innovation focusing on storage. It was a business model strategy to get customers to copy all their music into iTunes and their iPod, which would make it more difficult for them to switch to competing digital music players. In a time when little more than brand preferences were preventing people from switching from one player to another this was a smart move and laid the foundation for Apple’s subsequent stronghold on music and later innovations.
Most spaced repetition software (SRS) programs are modeled after the manual style of learning with flashcards : items to memorize are entered into the program as question-answer pairs. When a pair is due to be reviewed, the question is displayed on screen, and the user must attempt to answer. After answering, the user manually reveals the answer and then tells the program (subjectively) how difficult answering was. The program schedules pairs based on spaced repetition algorithms. Without a program, the user has to schedule flashcards ; this is time-intensive and limits users to simple algorithms like the Leitner system .