You’ve heard of Craig’s List. The site set up to find all sorts of things in your general location. Have you heard of Greg’s List? What? No? Well, let me tell you about Greg and his list. Actually, it’s my list, because he doesn’t realize his choices have become a list for me.
Greg is a great guy. He is the type of person you can count on, always does the right thing, and is a hard worker. In short, I respect and like Greg. But his choices are not just bad, they are hilarious. They are list-worthy.
1 – The Zune. Greg didn’t like Apple. A lot of people don’t like Apple. I didn’t like Apple. I was a late comer to the Apple game, and even then I didn’t like the Apple type of person I knew. They were the people that were always telling me that Apple was better than anything else and anyone who didn’t realize the genius of Apple was just stupid. I didn’t like how Apple kept their systems closed. Greg didn’t like Apple, either. So Greg bought a Zune. If you don’t know what a Zune is, here is a link about its history. The Zune was Microsoft’s iPod. It seemed like a decent alternative at the time, and Greg was a big Xbox guy. The Zune sucked. There was no decent music store. It had bugs. The Zune is on Greg’s List.
2 – The Treo. Treo’s were based on the Palm operating system. Greg had a Treo. I had a Treo. I got rid of my Treo as soon as I could. I got a Blackberry. Then I got an iPhone, which I gave to my wife because I couldn’t type on it. Then I got a series of Android based phones. The funniest of all my phones was the Treo. It made a call once while I was talking to a friend of mine about a woman we worked with. The call went to my wife. Greg stuck with the Treo. He stuck with Palm, and made the statement that no matter how great the Blackberry was, you couldn’t deny that Palm was the first and best. People still get mad at me when I make fun of Palm and the Treo, as if I missed out on the genius of them and I am one of the millions of idiots that ruined a good thing. FYI, no calls inadvertently made to my wife since I got rid of my Treo.
3 – The Garmin. Not only did Greg have a Garmin, he downloaded some module that replaced the Garmin voice with Mr. T’s voice. So it said things like “I pity the fool who doesn’t make a right turn in 3.2 miles.” About 45 minutes after he bought the Garmin, every phone in America had GPS. Sometimes when I drive with Greg, he starts to take out his Garmin, then realizes he is with me and I will make fun of him the whole ride, and he stops. Greg could kill me, by the way, much bigger and stronger, but you just can’t fight the mockery of someone who gets better directions from his phone than the giant box with 2 wires and an impossible user interface.
4 – The Blackberry Playbook. So when Greg had to give up his Treo, he went with Blackberry because his company had standardized on Blackberry. He never fully bought in, but he accepted Blackberry as the next best choice. And so, when Blackberry came out with its tablet, well after losing their market share, Greg was first to buy one. He is nothing else if not loyal. And then I read something that made the Garmin and the Zune seem like solid decisions. The Playbook did not have anything to do with the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES, to us techies). You couldn’t get your email on the Playbook! Holy Crap, are you kidding Blackberry? Hilarious. You couldn’t make this stuff up. And what was so funny was how mad Greg got, because he just ASSUMED that the Blackberry Playbook was just like the Blackberry, but a tablet. I wish I was there to see his face when he found out, and then realized how much I was going to make fun of him every time I saw the Playbook. Too much! It would be like Microsoft coming out with a Tablet and not having Office on it….wait, what?
So what is the point? This isn’t really just to make fun of my good friend Greg. There is a point here. The gadget world is a mess. One day Palm is king, the next, they are gone. Blackberry gets its own term “Crackberry”, then a little while later, they are a complete joke and figuring out which part of the business to sell off. If you read the Steve Jobs book, you know that Microsoft came up with the idea for an iPad-like tablet years before Apple did. They just didn’t do anything about it. I had an IBM ThinkPad X-31 that flipped into a touch screen tablet in 2003! The thing was great….what happened? As with most things, it’s not one issue or decision that drives the results. It’s a combination of things. Marketing, financing, company management, timing, market maturity, the surrounding ecosystem and somewhere in the mix, the technology. Ever heard of the Diamond Rio? It was a predecessor to the iPod. It was great, especially in the days before Steve Jobs screwed up the music industry by creating iTunes(I’m sort of joking). I used to be able to download pirated songs from Napster for free, put them on my Rio and the world was my oyster. But the ecosystem changed and the Rio just didn’t fit in. So you had a choice, by an iPod or a Zune. Just be sure to think about more than just the obvious, surface level aspects. Take all the factors into account. Then cross your fingers.
What does this have to do with Coda? Think about your business needs, then take everything into account. What business outcomes do you need? What is the right platform? Are there integration tools to make your life easier? What about mobility and device management? Training? Ongoing support? Take everything into account, or you might end up on Greg’s List.