Amalgam of Thoughts

"Cogito Ergo Sum" - I think therefore I exist
-Rene Descartes

17 January 2006

i Plod

"Its taken the world by storm". "The best gadget of the year". "Witness the evolution of Revolution". A cursory glance towards the headlines on Apple's iPod and one would start to believe that it is a new gizmo that has some magical powers. The wonder-struck then becomes passionate, then crazy and then totally delirious. I too got carried away by the hype surrounding this gadget. Having known that it was the most selling product for a couple of years in the West and that it was the reason why Apple Inc stocks started shooting for the skies in the market again, I got lost out on its main function.

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
And then someone asked me what an iPod was. "You have to be kidding me.. you dont know what an iPod is?"... and then "It... It plays songs you know, supreme quality, and.. and you can store upto 20GB or more of songs... that's like 1000 songs or more... and ... and you know new one has got a video... it .. its so small... C'mon.. you must have read about iPod!!". Came back an uninterested reply : "Explain it to me please. It sounds like an MP3 Player which has some additional features". Unwilling to relent, I throw in some more jargons and features, but the simplicity of his thoughts just broke all my defenses and I had to admit "Yeah! Its just another Walkman".

Taxonomy: The Evil
If you had the ill-luck of studying Biology then you would understand my chagrin against categorising things (Genus, Sub Genus, Species...). An average person is intelligent enough to understand everything. It is those geniuses that like to complicate things by classifying things. A South Indian happened to go to US for a small trip. Presented with a menu he was totally confused on what to get. Everyday, he tried some new name... Sandwich, Burger, Pizza, Hot Dog and at the end of week said... "They are just like our Masala Dosa. Some stuff in the middle and instead of Dosa maav they have bread". The American Indians grabbed their stomachs while laughing at the ignorance of our South-Indian friend, because his oversimplification of things couldnt be countered with rational explanation. But was he wrong?

Losing sight of truth
What Apple was actually successful in, was creating a hype with its iPod. If it presented the product as just another MP3 player, people wouldn't buy it as they did, because the market for MP3 players wasn't booming even after 5 years of such products entering the market. To create a sensation in such a manner that an iPod owner thought it as a disgrace for it to be compared to a regular 'Song playing gadget', is definitely praise-worthy. And that is what those marketing people are good at, misleading people.

3 Comments:

Blogger smiley said...

It is true that ipod is another walkman. It may have a screen but it is very small and could bea strain to your eyes. Again the marketing people always get the goods across

6:48 PM  
Blogger Rahul Sinha said...

Another way to look at the iPod phenomenon is that the intangibles of the device are what give it that edge over all the 100s of competitors. The ephemeral quality of not being aggravating and irritating to use is its chief feature.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Sudhu said...

Smiley: Thanks for the support :).

Rahul: I never deny the fact that the iPod is an excellent gadget, it is definitely the best MP3 player around, but Apple Inc thinks it is too good to be categorised under that class.
I saw two of your blogs, the discussion group is excellent.

9:51 PM  

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