Finaly a company that understands that it's not all about the features. The iPod hit a grand slam out of the park and perhaps it'll show others that it's not always about building all the features it's about doing things right. There are lots of MP3 players out there so what makes the iPod so different. Here's a short list for those executives at Creative, iRiver, Olympus, Dell and other knock-off that are still scratching their heads.
- Build an end to end experience. It's not just the player or just the software it's the combination that makes the experience great. From the moment you open the iPod box to the first song you purchase from iTunes the experience is clean and seemless.
- Do something that hasn't been done before and do it at the highest quality. The iPod has never been the cheapest device but the polished back and inovative click wheel made it worth the extra premium.
- It's about the interface. Many of these knock-off devices leave the interface as either a poor copy of the iPod interface or try to create something novel from scratch that doesn't work. Consumers can smell a knock-off and in this case they want the real thing. Creating a workable interface takes time. You have to build the software and then try to use it and watch how others use it. Eliminate/hide the features that you never use and you never see anyone else use. Simplify simplify simplify.
- Do one thing and do it well. Once you nail that expand out. The first versions of the ipod focused on music and only music. Only later did they add misc extras like a calendar and contact list.