Product over technology

There is this absolutely excellent video of Steve Job dealing with the technology equivalent of a heckler:

Jobs makes this incredibly insightful comment:

“The hardest thing is — how does that fit in to a cohesive larger vision, that’s going to allow you to sell — um — 8 billion dollars, 10 billion dollars of product a year.

And one of the things I’ve always found is that — you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I’ve got the scar tissue to prove it. And I know that it’s the case.

And as we have tried to come up with a strategy, and a vision for Apple, um, it started with … what incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer? Not starting with — let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have, and then how are we going to market that. Um … and I think that’s the right path to take.”

Its really quite amazing how often companies are often run in the manner of engineering solutions searching from problems instead of the other way around. Engineers often have the mindset: superior technology should always win. And Engineers also often end up thinking that whoever is the most technologically knowledgeable should essentially make decisions. Incidentally this strategy can work!!….just take a look at Google.

Of course it can also fail…just take a look at Samsung. Now Samsung does have many successes but Samsung should have achieved more. Its failures are largely due to the fact that they have an Engineers mindset. Thus they propose curved screens for cellphones and televisions. Who the fuck asked for curved screens?  No ones.

Samsung phones are filled with stupid features no one asked for. Like the phone detecting where your eyes are and scrolling based on your eyes.

The Engineering mindset has cost Google as well. Google basically invented a lot of cloud technologies, Big Data databases etc. Yet Amazon’s is crushing Google as a Cloud service provider. Why?

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