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Mmm, Gadgets

I think it would be fair to say that I spend much of my disposable income on gadgets. At Christmas time, even more so.

Okay, let’s be honest with one another, I love tech, I love to buy new things. If they come from Apple, even better, but I’m not a total snob about it, I’m willing to buy my gadget fix from just about anyone. Well, maybe not Microsoft, but just about anyone else (sorry MS, but, well, I have one word for you: Zune!)

I have far too many Apple computers (at the last count 9, if we include iPhones and iPads), and don’t get me started on “magic” touch pads and other add-ons that I just can’t live without.

I just had a quick in-my-head count, and I currently have more computers at once than I have ever owned in my life (and yes, smart-phones, they are computers) in total before the current crop.

Now, I’m not just having a boast session, far from it: I am currently about as happy as one can get with tech; rather I’d like to discuss a little bit about why I have such a selection of tech, and then a discussion about what you can learn from this. I’ll be brief, I promise.

Firstly, I’m a guy, so shiny wins. It’s right up there, even ahead of breasts (yes, I’m a geek).

Second, each new release from Apple (and from other vendors) tends to REALLY out-perform and just generally out-sex the last crop of devices I own. Add-in shiny, and what we’re really talking about is a total change from the last ten years, where most stuff has been incremental, and therefore a little too beige and a little too “oh, like the last one, but faster.”

What we’re really seeing has gone beyond innovation, what we’re talking is game changing.

iPhone not a game changer? Why is everyone so desperate to get in on the market then?

iPad not a game change? Why is every computer company and their OEM partners trying to get in on the act, then?

Mobile just for those who can’t afford desktops? Maybe, actually, but there are more mobile telephones on the planet than people, and, unlike my desktop and even my laptop, I always have a phone with me.

Where am I going with this?

Glad you asked, my question for you is: are you producing something I MUST have?

Are you? Or are you just wondering how to emulate someone else who’s having some success? Well, here’s some news for you: if I’ve got one of whatever your making, if yours doesn’t have a wow-factor attached, then I have a simple message for you: I’m not buying it.

The options available to me as a consumer are huge, my tech options to make my life better, sexier, faster, happier (okay, the marketing is working) are almost endless; but my wallet is not. So, if you want my hard-earned bucks, you’d better have something better, faster, sexier, damn it and shinier than the competition, or at least convince me you have, or you’re dead before you even start.

Where’s the take-a-way here? Simple: marketing and design are a huge part of the equation of making money, how high a priority are they on your list, and are you making sure they are on the table before you design your product? If they are not, you may as well save your effort and time.

And on that note, happy holidays and all the best for 2011. I think 2011 will be a great year for those that are thinking game changing and not me too.

Image Credit: Gear – Small Gadget Details by nateOne on Flickr. Used under creative commons with attribution license.

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