More than Specs

One of the arguments that I try not to get into with people happens to be about specifications and features. Yes, there’s something to be said for checking more boxes in the “my device can do this more than yours” bucket. But, really, when it gets down to it, every device choice that we make really is about the experience that we are trying to derive from life by having it. And from there, we are either happy or not. And usually, when we aren’t happy, we try to validate things by talking about features (which are good points, just not very valid to the minds of those looking at their devices in glee).

For example, the Nokia N97 gets a lot of flack for being the flagship mobile from Nokia. If you meet someone who’s happy with what it does, you can see where Nokia was going with it. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have issues, or that it has the best specs, but that the compromise of features and the availability of its use has made for an experience that’s just not rivaled with other devices – especially those with similar features.

In the same way, you can think about the new Honda CR-Z. The CR-Z is a hybrid sports car that was designed to be great to drive, not necessarly the fastest or quickest. And when you look at the numbers (its as slow as a Prius and gets way worse gas/electric mileage), you’d think that it has a problem. But, it doesn’t. At least not according to the persons who eventually signed off on it. It just felt like a great ride. And that experience tends to count for a ton.

Thinking about life and tech in this manner is new(ish) to me. That’s not to say that I’ve not always had to be happy with what I’ve purchased or was given, but I always had to find the silver liniing. Thing is, if you can get your head wrapped around the designer’s intentions, then you can find some fulfillment – and even some enhancement to how you live life – with whatever device that it is you have.

It takes a lot, one could even argue that it takes a certain kind of maturity. But, I tend to believe that we are not jsut entering a point in time of great innovation, but a point where we have to do a better job of appreciating what it is we have and the opportunities that they afford. Shiny devices only shine for a while, after that, they are still devices with a purpose.