LostGargen documents the evolution of software development towards product design. Danc’s description summarizes technology lifecycle and the consumer as a product (in this case software) evolves.
“We make products that you can love, not just products that you use”
We’ve started to move into the area where technology is good enough. MySQL 5, Postgres, Oracle, DB2, Sleepcat, Filemaker, Sybase, SQL Server. Is there a difference? Yes!. Could you make due with one or another. Probably.
“Even when forced to use a ‘technically inferior’ platform, the religious devotion to rapidly and effectively serving customer's complete spectrum of needs make their product offerings more attractive than the competition.”
Have we entered the ”’touchy-feely junk’ is the main reason why people are buying our swag!” era. We’ll we’re pretty close. In “Chapter 6: Valuing Usability for Startups” of Cost-Justifying Usability (2nd Ed). A Update for the Internet Age I argue that startups who build a culture to include customer-centric methods and early-customer involvement reduce investor risk and increase the valuations (though I am not sure how successfully I make this argument). The focus needs to be on identifying products and features that offer solutions to customer needs. Coupling this with an understanding of how businesses are built, financed and grow can provide a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and investors. I never explicitlly made the connection between these arguments and product design. The LostGarden description of the different stages of software development as product design and offers some very practical advice for organizations. Plus it’s a lot more fun to read than my book chapter!
The customer matters!