On untouchable products
I spoke with a friend of mine last night about the launch of TMAP and we got to talking about the mission. He said he agreed with it and shared with me my favorite format of information: an anecdote.
Paraphrased, it went thus.
Someone he works with bought an iPhone. This colleague bragged about his new beautiful device. Told everyone how much they should like the clean lines, intuitive interface and tight package. Everyone knew how much he'd spent, and remembered his old one which was fine yesterday. They thought about how theirs was now lesser by the presence of a new one. He took it out of his pocket. It was in an OtterBox.
For those who don't know, the OtterBox is an extremely effective defensive case for high-end devices like iPhones. When your device is in it, you can fire it into a highly magnetized brick puddle and it'll survive.
The problem is, it doubles its volume. Now this sleek thing, which is designed to barely - yet gracefully - fit into a pocket, requires a secondary carrying device, or to be exposed at all times as the desensitized, deformed robot it's become.
A hundred years ago our ancestors carried pocket watches. They were obviously the smartphones of their era: inexcusably expensive, beautiful, pocket sized, internally complicated, and intended to make your life easier. And you wouldn't be caught dead putting one of those in an OtterBox. Their protection was a small chain connected to a button, or simply a deliberate hand.There are times, I suppose, when one of these protective cases is called for. When your work is dirty, or your hands are slippery, or you expect it to get slammed around, and you can't get away with not having it on you. I put my phone (which I selected for its small size) in a thin sleeve when I go to work, for example. But I don't do it thoughtlessly: we should seriously consider what we're doing here.Someone spent a lot of time and money to make a fine thing. And it is surely fine, but never mind that; if it can't survive my average day, why the hell would I want one?