As I read a recent GigaOm post about MiFi and mobile hotspot use, I started to get that feeling again. That feeling that rises up every now and then which wonders if we are ever going to have some of the louder voices in mobile say something besides “oh, we’ll do it like the rest of the mobile elite now.” But as I read the comments on that post, I quickly found my soapbox getting kicked out from under me. We do what we know, and for one reason or another, we are the products of our decisions and the market that’s been shaped around us.
Some of those decisions lie squarely at our feet. When we say things like “…when you don’t let the user turn it on…” for a feature that you purchased the device for, that speaks of not knowing the device and purchasing based solely on the feature or marketing. But that’s just us – we’ve been a country of purchasing something that we’ve seen without realizing the implications attached to what’s being sold to us.
I’m not saying that I like finding features such as mobile hotspots, security recovery, etc. as things so buried in the device that a company has no idea how to market them – let alone point you to where instructions for use are on their site. I’m just saying that (as a country), it would seem that USAmericans have little attention to those things. It has to be marketed to us from a name we’d trust (or are learning to trust), and has to have some scent of being USAmerican. That puts us often in roles where we’d later have to reverse decisions that we once called innovative, because things didn’t play out as such.
The mobile market, at least as its been told to us, is about as consumer (not customer)-friendly as it ever has been. And yet, I look at the excitement of people over the iPhone and shake my head. We don’t seem to get it – nothing about what Apple and Verizon are doing here works in our favor. But, we at least get the appearance of being mobile-intelligent continuing with this banter of hoping that the world’s approach to mobile revolves around us (it doesn’t, and never will).
I learned something as I did the MMM Mobile Experiment some time back, the world’s view of mobile is so different, so embracing, so disruptive, and so disappointing that you can’t hold it against anyone or entity that doesn’t have all the puzzle pieces. It is just too large, and for most, there’s not enough hours in the day to look at something like using LogMeIn on a smartphone at CES, and say that’s not cool because its been done over mobiles for years.
Pardon our ignorance. We know that the rest of the world does things another way. We are just different and slowly are coming to the understanding of living in the mobile skin we’ve been given. As we learn what mobile is, and how we live in it, maybe our elite voices will offer the kinds of insights that don’t just confirm our thoughts of the past, but point to a future that is distinctively innovative and maybe even USAmerican.
Until that happens, I’m going to find my knees getting a workout. Falling from soapboxes does a number on your knees if you don’t humble yourself.