I spent Saturday playing with Apple's new iPad. My reaction: It's another amazing feat of engineering and design elegance from the team in Cupertino.
But will it sell? And I don't mean, will it sell to the fanatical, early adopters? That's a given. Rather, will it sell in the tens of millions to the masses (Apple's projected sales are 10 million in 2010)?
As a "product," the iPad has a few shortcomings: It's heavy. The glass screen creates a lot of glare and is quickly covered in fingerprints. You can't really grab it and go. It needs to be carried in a bag. And it's expensive.
But value always lies beyond the product and is embedded deep within the "idea." And as an idea the iPad has the potential to come to life in a very big way, as it rapidly becomes a creative boon for game and content developers.
Imagine a storybook with animation that springs to life when a child touches a character, or a history book that launches a JFK or MLK speech on command. Try to picture a math book that interacts in real-time as a student solves problems, or a challenging game of Scrabble with online friends.
I can imagine a custom holder that props it up on an exercise bike and
provides a realistic, and educational, ride through the streets of
Paris. I see it sitting in a custom frame on a kitchen counter, making
meal recommendations and launching stunning video demonstrations of
It's already a beautiful and powerful photo display frame. It's being used by some as an artist's canvas and palette. A New Yorker magazine
cover was produced using an iPhone. Take a look:
The sky's the limit.
The same is true of your products and services. It's not what your idea is that matters. It's what it does. Success depends on how powerfully you bring your idea to life for the
benefit of your
The idea called iPad will never become a winner based solely on the "value" of the product. No way. And neither will you or your ideas.
Success in today's marketplace of ideas comes from being bold and creative and adding meaningful value to people's lives: Value beyond the product.
P.S. Here's a link to a radio interview I did Monday, on the nationally syndicated Small Business Advocate show, where we discussed this same subject: http://bit.ly/dzwtOT
Are you hoping to be? Are you fascinated with image and the attention that celebrity brings? Is your day spent trying to create attention? Are you trading direct social relations for parasocial interactions and, thus, losing your grounding in substance and reality?
If you answered "no," you may soon be able to prove it -- to yourself and to others. According to conversations overheard at the recent SxSw conference, the folks at Twitter will soon be adding a feature that allows users to hide their follower, following and listed stats.
What will the choice of hiding or displaying those signals tell us about someone? And what effect do you think it will have on Twitter's attention and status-feeding business model?
You can read more about Twitter's decision at the following link: