It’s been drilled into my brain for all the years I’ve been working with consumer businesses that changing consumer behavior is the hardest thing to do. The story goes: consumer habits are very tough to change and to even have a shot of pulling it off, it’s going to be incredibly expensive.
For this reason, most products and services end up being evolutionary rather than revolutionary. But changing consumer behavior is exactly how you build great, lasting, iconic products and companies.
Apple and the iPad are perfect examples of this. Many far technologically smarter and savvier than me have panned the iPad, and many of their points are correct. But I believe that people struggle with these innovations mostly because they look and act differently than the things they already know and trust (like a laptop or an iPhone in this case).
Remember how people reacted before the iPhone first came out? It’s worth .
David Pogue said it best:
Like the iPhone, the iPad is really a vessel, a tool, a 1.5-pound sack of potential. It may become many things. It may change an industry or two, or it may not. It may introduce a new category — something between phone and laptop — or it may not. And anyone who claims to know what will happen will wind up looking like a fool.
So at the risk of looking like a fool, my bet is that Apple is creating a new category of device with the iPad that will fundamentally change the way consumers think of “computers” and their use cases. I am already drooling at the mere thought of being able to ditch my clunky Crestron hardware for an IP-based system with my iPad + flexible software as command central.
The iPad is literally in the first inning – so much will change over the coming months and years, making the device better and more user friendly. Apple may not get it exactly right with V1, but they will eventually. And everyone else will try and mimic it. I for one am eager to get my hands on one.
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