Yeah, I really used “retard” as an 80’s slang insult. Or, if you prefer, a late night movie quote.
Partly for shock, I’ll admit. But also because I think the word (in it’s slang sense) really describes the behavior of my phone.
Because someone who acts “retarded” in the slang sense, basically ignores common sense, and rather than asking for help or clarification (when the obviously need it), just forges ahead in their moronic behavior. That’s what my phone was doing.
And, this relates to business in the sense that I’ve got a brand new iPhone 8, and this is but one of many experiences that has now driven me to the point of giving up on Apple.
The major problem with the phone is the voice to text system.
I ask the phone to call Birds on Burnet — a barber shop that’s IN my contacts database.
And here’s what the phone spit back:
***Insert screen cap****
Siri could easily have asked me:
- If “Birds” was the complete name (so I could clarify Bird’s Barbershop
- If Birds was someone I knew (to search the contact list again, via multiple entry formats)
- How Birds was spelled
But, no, Siri ignored my contacts database and just plowed ahead with complete idiocy. And, sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to Siri as well as this iPhone’s voice to text capabilities in general.
Seems like every generation of iPhone ads more wiz-bang features, without fixing the real flaws which keep the phone from being usable in the first place.
Worse, several new features, Operating Systems, and hardware choices seem to routinely get pushed out before being fully “baked.”
It’s almost as if Apple has become the new Microsoft. “Have you updated to High Sierra yet? Hell, naw — they just released that shit. Better wait a few months, first.”
This is the opposite of the Apple I fell in love with. The one with the motto of “It just works.” The Apple who released an entire new Operating System — Snow Leopard — with almost no new features except a much tighter and smoother running code base.
Snow Leopard didn’t give you new toy’s and bright shiny objects, but it did give you what felt like a brand new computer, one that ran faster and smoother. Only Apple could have done that. But that Apple doesn’t exist anymore.
So what are the business lessons to all this?
I count four:
- For a business, creating a pain of disconnect can be smart. Frankly, if I wasn’t so invested in the Apple Eco-system, I’d have already left them. So that’s saved their buts for a few generations of phones, desktops, and laptops.
- When you water down the soup, people don’t leave right away, or in a linear fashion. You don’t water the soup 5% and lose 5% of your customers. Instead, you keep watering your soup until people realize your food sucks, and then they all leave at once. That’s what’s happening with Apple. People aren’t snapping up the new products like they used to. They don’t feel compelled to update like they did before. And I predict that one day very soon, a flood of formerly loyal Apple fans will start switching to Android and PC products in droves, despite the pain of disconnection.
- Â People don’t judge your product or service based on averages and how you do overall. They judge them based on peak (or nadir) experiences. They can overlook a bit of “meh” if you deliver enough A-ha’s to keep the peak experiences prominent in their memories. But it doesn’t take many “Gahhhhh” (aka, “Full Retard”) experiences to make people discount the A-has and totally forget the Meh. There’s a lot the iPhone 8 does just fine. But nothing has really thrilled me, and quite a bit has frustrated the hell out of me. So where does that leave me for an overall impression of my new phone? Yeah, nowhere good.
- Are you willing to ask for help (or at least clarification) when you need it? Or do you moronically forge ahead with “Full Retard” behavior instead? Knowing when to ask for help by bringing in an expert can mean the difference between struggling to make ends meet and growing faster than you thought possible.
What do you think?