One thing astounds me about the iPad that no one mentions: why didn’t any other company do it before Apple? All it would have taken is for a company to look at the success of the iPod Touch and say, “We should make a bigger version and create the iTunes of literature and journalism.”
Seriously, how hard would this have been?
The core problem is that most companies don’t have a theoretical construct for the qualities of great products. I can provide two: first, companies can copy and extend what Apple does. Make it, if you will, their Xerox PARC. For example, camera companies should replicate the iPhone/iPod/iPad user interaction and abandon the heinous menu-driven system currently in place.
How hard can this be now that Apple has shown the way?
Second, perhaps more palatable to intellectual property lawyers and product development pride (if they have any), companies can follow this list of the essential elements of great products. I call it, “Roll the DICEE:”
• Deep. Depth refers to the feature set of your product. It means that you’ve anticipated what your customers will need as they grow familiar with the product and come up the power curve.
• Intelligent. When you use an intelligent product, you can tell that someone has insights into solving your problems. An intelligent product delights you with how it knows what you need to do.
• Complete. A complete product provides not only a digital or physical manifestation but all the other good stuff that makes for a great experience such as service, support, and a string of enhancements.
• Elegant. An elegant product means that you cared about user interface and industrial design. An elegant product works with you, for you, and through you. An inelegant one fights and befuddles you.
• Emotive. People have binary reactions to greatness: either they like it or they hate it. Great products generate strong emotions like joy, delight, pride-of-ownership, and, sometimes, hate.
Apple wants it all; it’s becoming the Microsoft of content—I say this in only the most positive way. The question is: are you just going to rollover and or are you going create DICEE products and compete with the very best?