The Trade-Off: Why the Chevy Volt won't be a winner

Consumers constantly make trade-offs between fidelity and convenience, weighing the quality of an experience against the ease of getting that experience. We'll give up some fidelity to get more convenience, or vice versa. And the products that most people gravitate to -- the products that make people happiest -- tend to be either the most convenient or offer the highest fidelity.

A hundred years ago, that trade-off killed the electric car. And it's going to seriously hobble the Chevy Volt when it hits the market next year. That's because products that fall in the middle no-man's-land -- offering neither outstanding fidelity nor astonishing convenience -- struggle in the marketplace. And the Volt seems to be driving straight into that ditch.