Mitch Joel, as usual, has an interesting take on Google’s new phone, Nexus One. He argues that the Nexus One should not be compared with other smart phones; rather, it should be compared to a hand-held computer.Yes, Google may be positioning itself to work on the hand-held computer market, but I’m afraid it may not be learning from the past. It labors under the impression that limiting access to a product increases te public’s appetite for that product. Look at Gmail for lessons. Nearly 5 years after it was launched, Gmail is a pathetic third behind Yahoo and MSN Hotmail. It just managed to overtake, of all things, AOL!! The latest Hitwise list provides a nice snapshot of email service usage:
The point you make about jugaad being responsible for killing innovation is something that I have been trying to articulate as well – the fact is that, as long we’re satisfied (and even proud) of our makeshift, barely working, hastily put together solutions, there is no demand on the providers of these products and services to actually improve. We tend to have this “sab kuch chalega” attitude about everything, including things that affect our quality of life, our safety and security, our health and well-being and happiness, and somehow we tend to not demand better and more. Why is that and how do we even begin to overcome this highly ingrained attitude?