Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, and I believe that for the most part, it lives up to it’s end of the bargain. It’s simpler and more powerful than it’s ever been, it has taken forms that everyone can understand and is just amazing to behold. Every year something new comes out, and every year we’re disappointed, so it brings up an interesting question, why does every device need to be a game changer?
Recently both Apple and Samsung released new products. Apple just released new versions of the iPhone, 5S & 5C, and Samsung with the Galaxy Note 3, and the Galaxy Gear watch. Everyone was on pins and needles (investors mostly, let’s be honest here), to see what these devices were going to bring to the table, and how exciting it was to finally have these devices out in public consciousness. Now since the devices are no longer a mystery, we can go into how disappointed we are, and how everyone is playing it safe and no one wants to innovate.
I think Louis CK said it best, when he said, “we have this beautiful thing, and we hate it. We are just, “duh nuh.” I have never seen a person going, “Look what my phone can do…” Nobody does that.”
Let that sink in for just a second. We have these devices that are getting better each and every day, that we get so excited about when we make the purchase and bring it home for the very first time. However, it seems after a little while, the lustre wears off, and we’re ready for something new, something fresh. No matter what these companies release, it seems like the correct response is to be disappointed.
Where does this feeling come from exactly, and why is it so important, that each and every device that comes out has to be a game changer? What happened to refining and improving upon what makes a device successful to begin with?
I honestly feel it stems from pundits on Wall Street, the folks who can go out and afford every piece of technology that comes out the day it’s announced. It’s weird, as a consumer, I’m always reading about how some pundit thinks (x company) is finished because some device wasn’t priced correctly, or didn’t offer something that (supposedly) well connected sources had told them about.
Of course, this type of insight isn’t reserved for just one company, everyone gets their share of the second guessing. Regardless of what bandwagon you’re on, it’s always doom and gloom from industry pundits, because there’s this feeling that it’s just so easy to innovate, and release this product that everyone is going to want, and that every company has about 100 of these ideas on their person at all times.
Creating technology that has mass appeal is a concept that is very difficult to grasp. The iPhone was lightning in a bottle for Apple, when it finally saw the light of day in 2007. No one really expected it to catch on and become a success, or at least not the success that it became. It made the idea of a phone being more than just a phone that was accessible to everyone, a reality, when most people thought it wouldn’t be possible. It’s because of this, and the many products that released afterwards, tablets, the Macbook Air/Ultrabooks, tablet/laptop hybrids, phablets, that consumers now expect to have game changing products come out every day.
I think in this day and age, people need to be patient, and expectations need to be tempered. Sure, some of these bigger companies may be sitting on a really great idea, but it’s all about implementation and execution. No one wants to release a product that’s going to fail, and that’s the challenge, will this product be the next big thing? I believe as consumers, we just need to sit back, and let people go to work. The next game changing product is coming, but only when it’s ready to be shown, and not a moment before.