Proliferation or progress?

When Apple launched the first iPhone, it changed everything. A lot of companies aped what they saw and still could never match up to the quality of Apple for a long time. Finally, now that they managed to catch up, the market is flooded with imitations, ‘inspirations’ and so on. We have almost forgotten what it was to have a device that had physical buttons. Touch used to be a distinguishing feature then. When that became mainstream, app markets had become another big puller. With the app market maturing, the focus then became cost and market segments, along with the battle of the operating systems.

As a consumer, today in this scene of proliferation, I have a tough time making a choice – there are a zillion products in the market doing almost identical things with very little that is different. So how does a consumer make a choice? If one is brand agnostic, they might just go with the looks or the price. The brand loyalists do not have much of a decision making problem. But if you really want to compare everything and decide, it is nearly impossible. It has become akin to standing in an aisle with 150 brands of pineapple jam. Decision making is an arduous task  if you have to peruse through all of the options and decide. People are instead taking shortcuts. They don’t bother looking at all options; they just go with something that receives more attention – more reviews, more noise in the market, more likes, or, the one that is much talked about. Items in the bottom of the list are as good as not being there. Nobody has the patience to look through all of them. For the marketeers, is all about drumming and fanfare to somehow make it to the top 50 of the lists.

In all this, are we losing sight of the fact that it is time to rethink and innovate. I’m not implying that there isn’t innovation happening in the secret labs. I guess I’m getting impatient. I need to see something hit the market that would drive the industry forward, and, help it truly swim out of this proliferation mode.

A new something to change everything again.

Leave a Reply