Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holy Moses, We're Bored and Out of Shiny Objects

Holy Moses, We're Bored and Out of Shiny Objects

Image credit: Moses with the Tablets of Law by Wally G

For the last several months there's been a ton of interest in the mythical Apple tablet. Just how much? Since July Google searches for the words Apple and tablet are up 400% percent and news reference volume is up 150%. Apple has said nothing so that leaves a lot of room for armchair quarterbacking, the latest of which is a thoughtful and intelligent discourse between MG Siegler at TechCrunch and Joe Wilcox. But there's a bigger story here: we, the early adopters, are officially bored.

Twitter is out of beta and nothing arguably as innovative is seeming to replace it - although growth maybe peaking. Facebook and smartphones have become mainstream. Everything else - even some significant innovations in the mobile computing space that I am sure we will see at CES - is being (incorrectly) considered iterative. And so we're left to debate the merits and need for the Apple tablet, a fantastic imaginary device addressing arguably a need and market that does not exist currently, except perhaps in our imagination.

Mind you, I am not saying this is wrong. I am am just trying to scratch under the surface at the psychology of the meme. Perhaps part of the reason there has been so much debate is that the economy has slowed the pace of industry innovation and so what's in front of us can't meet the expectations of a select, yet influential few - the early adopters.

So, we keep talking about the tablet in full view. The press therefore rightly keeps writing – the conjecture is a story too. Plus the occasional new rumors and opinion keep the the cycle going.

All of this is a fascinating study in the psychology of our times and how conversation drives the news and the hype cycle, potentially setting up everyone to fail given the outlandish expectations.

Perhaps only divine intervention will give us what we want, even if we may not need it.

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