Having an iPod-enabled car with its attendant enjoyment of all sorts of time-and-location-shifted content on my commute has me thinking about how fine the line is between easy and hard, and how much that affects behavior.
Downloading a podcast to iTunes then burning it to CD is enough of a pain that I won’t do it except in special circumstances. Just connecting the iPod, having everything happen magically, and then having the content in the car means I will do it.
Got a podcast? I’ll check it out. If I don’t like it, there’s no sunk cost.
It’s the same thing as the difference between a VCR and a DVR. Technically, they do the same thing, but its the comparative ease with which they do it that makes all the difference in the world. Time-shifting content on a VCR means figuring out how to program it, checking every week to make sure the frigtards at the network didn’t change the time your show comes on†, and making sure you’re not going to run out of tape.
Very much doable, but enough of a chore that it has to be a great show for you to go through the hassle. On a DVR, it’s a matter of clicking a button and the machine handles it for you. Badabim!
Just goes to show that the reason Apple is kicking butt in the areas of the consumer market it has entered is that the big computer manufacturers don’t understand the difference between consumers and employees—a consumer does things when they are easy or fun to do, whereas an employee does things because they’ll be fired if they don’t.
If your product technically can do something, but it’s a pain to actually accomplish, most consumers will not buy it, since their friends, along with a whole Internet of people who are early adopters, will tell them what a clunker your product is.
Compare this with an IT manager who will buy something for 5,000 seats if it has the right checkbox in the feature list.
†Seriously, why do they keep moving shows around? Is viewer loyalty that elusive a concept?
Posted Tuesday, 27 February, 2007 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.