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What insurance advisers can tell you about entrenched views

A fierce argument about accessibility

The article below sparked a fierce argument about the extent to which companies should work to make their products accessible to people.

Domino's Pizza had legal action taken against them after a blind man in the United States was unable to use their website and app. 'This, he argued, put the company in breach of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which says it is unlawful for businesses to deny individuals with disabilities access to their goods and services unless the effort involved places them under an "undue burden"'

Click here to read more.

Without repeating the details of the argument - or who was arguing for or against greater access, the issues can be summarised:

Big companies tend to design access for the many, not the few. This is obvious. Market segments of few, or one, tend only to be served by specialists. The skills of one company are unlike the skills of the other, historically.

While it is true that customers with special needs (disability, lack of knowledge or experience, poverty, language barriers, or different requirements from the mass) can often access our products, they also often face barriers to doing so. In overcoming these, they face higher transaction costs. When transaction costs rise, fewer transactions are made.

While there is a public policy debate to be had about whether companies should be forced to provide access, and the extent of cost that they should have to bear in order to do so, we don't have to wait for that to happen: if you are wondering how to increase your market share, you might look to tackle some of those segments that are underserved. If you can find an innovative way to break down the barriers, you can own a segment for years. Success stories are usually built on this. Early Amazon was.

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