My daily readings 02/10/2010

  • tags: no_tag

    • I’m not so sure that’s what the focus of the iPad naysayers is. It’s more “why do I want this?”. Nobody questioned why everyone would want a tiny, pocketable device that held every song they would ever want. They questioned whether Apple’s mp3 player would be the one people wanted (and, by the way, the first iPod was not, it took a few generations). Nobody questioned whether people would want a smartphone at all, they’d been popular for years, just where in the market the iPhone would end up.

      The iPad’s a different animal because it’s trying to sell people something they don’t even know they want. It’s more akin to the Apple TV than the iPod. Maybe they want something like this or maybe they don’t, but it isn’t the feature set that’s worrisome, it’s the fact that we all have a smartphone and a laptop, and do we really need something in between?

      Only time will tell.

  • tags: iPad, idea

  • tags: product

    • I believe this “more features = better” mindset is at the root of the misjudgment, and is also the reason why so many otherwise smart people are bad at product design (e.g. most open source projects).
    • What’s the right approach to new products? Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else. Those three attributes define the fundamental essence and value of the product — the rest is noise. For example, the original iPod was: 1) small enough to fit in your pocket, 2) had enough storage to hold many hours of music and 3) easy to sync with your Mac (most hardware companies can’t make software, so I bet the others got this wrong). That’s it — no wireless, no ability to edit playlists on the device, no support for Ogg — nothing but the essentials, well executed.
    • We took a similar approach when launching Gmail. It was fast, stored all of your email (back when 4MB quotas were the norm), and had an innovative interface based on conversations and search. The secondary and tertiary features were minimal or absent.
    • By focusing on only a few core features in the first version, you are forced to find the true essence and value of the product. If your product needs “everything” in order to be good, then it’s probably not very innovative (though it might be a nice upgrade to an existing product). Put another way, if your product is great, it doesn’t need to be good.
    • Ultimately, the real value of this device will be in the new things that people do once they have a fast, simple, and sharable internet window sitting around. At home we’ll casually browse the web, share photos (in person), and play board games (Bret’s idea — very compelling). At the office, maybe we’ll finally have an easy way of chatting with remote people while discussing a presentation or document (e.g. audio iChat with a shared display). Of course these things are theoretically possible with laptops, but it always ends up being so clumsy and complicated that we don’t bother (or give up after trying once).
    • Making the iPad successful is Apple’s problem though, not yours. If you’re creating a new product, what are the three (or fewer) key features that will make it so great that you can cut or half-ass everything else? Are you focusing at least 80% of your effort on getting those three things right?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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