“One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it.
“What’s most interesting to me about the future of technology? Reimagining every human behavior and every human experience through the lens of a mobile device.
A lot of my favorite objects have something in common and that’s something that is fairly recent. As far as I remember it probably really started with the launch of the first iPhone: software updates. Before the iPhone, your computer and some of your apps had free software updates to fix bugs and paid updates for new versions with new features. Since the iPhone, your phone can get software updates that also bring you new features, and since the launch of App Store all your applications can do this. And I bet you love this and are pretty excited when you get software updates (I know I am!)
More and more companies are using both Hardware and Software to make great products, which means that more and more products can benefits from these updates. And these are some of my favorite products! One company particularly understands this: Nest. The Nest is a learning thermostat that is connected and can get new features via software updates. Their co-founder recently explained in an interview that they don’t expect their users to update their thermostat every year but that the company will make their products better by providing software updates over the years. Their entire product is designed with this in mind.
Another example of product that recently had a software update: the Jambox, a bluetooth speaker with no screen and no UI. Their latest updates fixed some issues and added completely new features like Liveaudio which made the sound quality a lot better! A lot of products now offer updates: cameras, cars, watches, TVs… and it is just the beginning!
Your products can instantly evolve, have new features and simply be better just with a software update. Knowing that when you buy a product it can evolve over time and deliver surprise and value over time is quite fascinating. As a user, I think that the “unknown” of not knowing how your product will evolve over time is pretty magical. As product designers, not only your product is more flexible but you can delight and make your users more loyal without having to convince them to buy a new version of your product, so why not take advantage of it? I think it’s a great thing to think about when designing products and can it be a great competitive advantage. As technology gets smaller and smaller and internet gets everywhere, I can only imagine what kind of connected objects of the everyday life will offer these kind of updates in the future.