Google Wave, WWSGD, Tweetie 2 and the iPhone

by francine Hardaway on October 11, 2009

I’m a self-taught geek.  I’ve never written a line of code, nor do I understand how it works. However, over the years I’ve taught myself to navigate around lots of beta software, and I sign up for anything I’m offered.  Recently, I’ve been to Gist, Brizzly, Google Wave, and Tweetie 2, and I’ve just installed Richard Miller’s plug-in, “What Would Seth Godin Do” so I can treat new visitors to my blog differently from old visitors. (I get about six visitors a week).

I listen to The Gillmor Gang, TWIT, and TWIG. And I went to the Real-Time Crunch Up. Clearly, I’ve invested  time and money to be knowledgeable about new technology, especially software and gadgets. At any given time, I have four or five screens of iPhone apps, many of which are alternate ways of reading Twitter or managing my finances. Somewhere between 65 and 75 different choices. Let’s just say they average a buck a piece, and that’s a really expensive dinner.  Mostly I use two apps: Tweetie and Public Radio.

Oh, and the gadgets: I have a thing in my house that looks to the dogs like a plastic octopus and is so unappetizing that Buppy doesn’t even take it into the yard. I told him it makes instant wi-fi networks, but he is unimpressed. I have a Flipcam that I haven’t used since the iPhone got video, and a Canon zillion-megapixel camera that I haven’t used since I got the iPhone. I have two alternative ways to get more battery life on my iPhone.

I have three things that dock and amplify my iPhone music collection (I use only headphones), a Slingbox, a Kindle (I read books on the iPhone) and a device that takes my blood pressure digitally and transmits it to a website (I never do this because I don’t want to know). And another device that sits on my wrist and monitors my heart rate when I exercise. Oh, and I just sent my DNA to be tested by .

I have a Netflix account, although I still have a movie that came to me a month ago because I haven’t had time to watch it, and today I will probably choose to go to a movie theatre and see Michael Moore’s new movie about capitalism.  Maybe after that I will use the blood pressure gizmo.

This has been a fun exercise, collating my mind around the recent stuff I’ve tried. But what’s the money shot from all this? What do I learn?

That most of the technology and many of the services I try are ephemeral. Two years later, I can’t remember why I liked ThisNext or DailyCandy or even Twitterific. They have  a minor utility to a small number of people, along with games and pink Dells. Although they have been funded, and continue to operate, they don’t solve a big enough problem for me to get excited about. I give them all a chance, and then blow them off.

Admittedly, some technology solves small problems for me, like the Public Radio iPhone app, which allows me to listen to “Morning Edition” while walking the dogs. But most technology is a goof for its developer, a fun exercise in solving a personal problem and hoping it catches on.

And that is why we pay $48,000 a year for a cancer drug and some people complain about paying $2.99 for an iPhone app. It’s the perceived value thing. Much of this tech is free, or almost free, because it has little perceived value outside a very small circle.

I think that should be a lesson for entrepreneurs.  It’s not that new things should be discouraged.  It’s that the entrepreneur should ask him/herself the hard question: how useful IS this to a large audience? And now much is it worth to them? Maybe that doesn’t mean you don’t develop that 20th Twitter app for iPhone, but maybe you realize that your tool is a small part of a larger problem that needs to be solved, and contribute your solution.

And by the way, that is the way I look at the iPhone.  The iPhone solves a large problem, or even several, which is why it is so incredibly popular despite AT&T. And all the app developers are just tweaking this large solution. So don’t complain if you can’t get your app noticed, or people won’t pay for it, or you can’t develop a multi-million dollar business from it. Remember you aren’t the solution, the iPhone is.

{ 4 trackbacks }

New Gadgets | Google Wave, WWSGD, Tweetie 2 and the iPhone | Stealthmode Blog
October 11, 2009 at 8:24 am
iPhone User » Blog Archive » Google Wave, WWSGD, Tweetie 2 and the iPhone | Stealthmode Blog
October 11, 2009 at 9:09 am
Google Wave, WWSGD, Tweetie 2 and the iPhone | Stealthmode Blog | Hot Trendz
October 11, 2009 at 11:26 am
Google Wave, WWSGD, Tweetie 2 and the iPhone beta club
October 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven October 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

So basically you're just like every other social tech groupie?

hardaway October 11, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Ummm…you've found me out:-)

Francine October 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Ummmm… you’ve found me out:-)

WOW October 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm
wangshumei February 6, 2010 at 10:55 pm

become a beta tester buy cheap uggs you trade your identity for the orgasmic experience of using a product that doesn’t work very well, isn’t finished, and may very well simply mimic the qualities of another products we already know. Or perhaps be a product we don’t even want.

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