Consumer technologies (from the physical to webservice) follow a simple and very predictable cycle, based on the following consumer demands.

  1. Give me what I want.
  2. Give it to me whenever I want it.
  3. Give it to me wherever I want it.
  4. And when I have too much, help me to filter and manage it.

Walkmans truly gave us music wherever we wanted it

They don’t always play out in that order, but I consider these to be the key drivers for the majority of consumer-facing technologies. They are universal and not dictated by price.

Pre-transistor, most technologies were stuck at stage one or two. If you wanted some entertainment, you bought a ticket to a show and drove to the theater. But at least you could pop a record onto your gramophone, allowing you to listen to music whenever you wanted and in your own home. But a gramophone wasn’t particularly portable. We’d have to wait decades for the walkman before we could take our music jogging. Sony was there first, and they reaped the vast treasure for their innovation. Read the rest of this entry »

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