When “minimal viable product” doesn’t work

When "minimal viable product" doesn't work: Inherent in the process of minimal viable product, then, is a trusting, large permission base that will eagerly listen to you, try your new work and let you know what they think. And you don’t have the option of building that audience once the product is ready–that’s too late.

[Yeah. I’ve screwed this up more than once. It’s often hard to know when you’ve got a strong core.]
Source: Seth’s Blog

WSJ: Google considers offering paid TV services to internet customers | The Verge

WSJ: Google considers offering paid TV services to internet customers | The Verge: Google has apparently discussed with media executives the idea of expanding its YouTube channel lineup to license a full suite of cable channels for paying customers, turning YouTube into a virtual cable service, or sorts. At this point, nothing would surprise us when it comes to Google’s try-everything-once approach to product development.

[Google needs to work on its customer service infrastructure before I would trust them with more services.]

Turning Hardware Into Software

Turning Hardware Into Software: We used to have the iPod app, which is now simply called “Music”. The previous app icon was a picture of an iPod, because that was the simplest way to explain what was going on with a single image. What was hardware is now software. With iOS 5, the gap has presumably been bridged, and the anachronistic iconography went away. On the other hand, I’d venture to guess that the Phone.app hardware handset icon isn’t going away for a while; the iPod was never an emergency device, and phones have been around a little longer than digital music players. I might not even know where to find a handset telephone in 2011, but the image as an icon is completely unambiguous.

Texture-rich, literal UI isn’t merely an affectation, and it isn’t there to comfort us, exactly; the purpose is to connect. For those of us who have been playing with technology since we were small children, a list of books—or any other kind of data—is second nature. For the generations of people who aren’t so technologically immersed, a wooden bookshelf adds context and warmth to what is otherwise perceived as a cold machine. Apple’s strength is connecting technology to human beings, and skeuomorphic design acts as a bridge between what we already understand and what must now be learned.

With the iPhone, we started communicating with technology via touch in a meaningful way for the first time. Apple added more touch gestures in Lion, and it’s probably a safe guess that the trend will continue. Semi-realism and texture invite touch. They invite interaction. Laugh at the leather and torn paper, but it’s a hell of a lot more inviting to touch than a cold hunk of metal and glass.

[This might be a permadiscussion. I don’t mind per app branding, but the fiddly little pieces of parker hanging off of things that detest in real life, I can now detest without being to correct them in my digital life. harumph.]
Source: Better Elevation

The tech industry is update-happy

The tech industry is update-happy: In contrast, if I leave a car parked in front of my house, and go away for a while, when I come back, the radio still works. So does the heater, and the engine. I’ve had batteries go bad while cars sat idle. Once I froze an engine block in a Wisconsin winter. But none of this was done to the car, deliberately, by companies in the car industry. Generally when my car breaks it’s because I did something to it. (There are exceptions of course.)

The tech industry is update-happy. The rationale that somehow breakage is not only acceptable, but good — is nonsense.

[Nothing to add. When companies realize that the goal is not to build a company based on fulfilling every dream of every user this might, *might*, get better.]
Source: Scripting News