The purple cow is a book written by Seth Godin, which talks about transforming your business by being remarkable. The idea is that there is no point launching products and service nowadays unless they stand out like a purple cow and are remarkable.
It is an old book from 2001, but the contents have become more and more relevant since that year, due to lack of time and abundance of choice consumers have.
Seth urges everyone involved in creating designing or selling to think in new ways about their market. By adopting alternative approaches to your business, you and your company will survive to innovate another day. (on back cover of the book)
There are too many nuggets of the book to mention here, but I will point out one which hit home to me during the development of the sports community site http://www.e-sporters.com/, that it is not necessary to launch a full blown version, or even beta version in the first go. Rather test the water, and launch a very public release of a cheap prototype like car companies do at shows.
Which is effectively what http://www.e-sporters.com/ is, a prototype being tested. We are testing the water with the target audience (sporters - people serious about sport) to see whether they can achieve their goals on the site, is there a market for the service we are offering, and to see what we should change in the full blown version of the site with all the whistles and bells.
Which we hope will be the purple cow!