Engineers…


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And no, I don’t mean train engineers. I was always taught that form follows function. Seems safe to me. Of course “safe” isn’t always fun. If “safe was all we wanted then there wouldn’t be  Macs vs PCs or better yet Windows vs OS X.

But, even while trying to make a product (design) fun, it still needs to function very well. I remember when Steve Jobs said the inside of a Mac needs to be as excellent as the outside. I agree. A real good looking car just may not be the car you need to get the job done.

Now, about the current iPhone. Who in the world thought putting the power button directly across from the volume buttons was a good idea? Did anyone (yes ANYONE) not notice that this was a bad design idea? Really, not one engineer or beta user?  No department head at Apple? Anyone for that matter notice this blunder before the product launched?

To make matters worse, to chase other companies “cool factor” Apple curved the edges of the phone making it much harder to hold. I know, hands free, I get it.

The same goes for Apples newest product, the AppleWATCH. I have to wonder, “Did the product team at Apple ever notice young people don’t wear watches?” Nope. Apple pushes ahead asking us to buy this $350 (really more like $600 to $700) watch so we can sit back and watch version 2 roll out in a year. Don’t we all have to have the newest version?

Me, I love watches. They are truly works of art. I’m talking mechanical not quartz movement watches. There are some fine quartz watches on the market and I have a few but it’s the mechanical watches that draw me. The form and function in either a MeisterSinger or an Ernst Benz shows beauty of form and function at its finest. There won’t be an “update” for these watches. No Legacy System here.

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Memo – Someone at Apple, you should read The Fifth Discipline. I saw a short film Peter Senge screened several years ago. It was about Cremona, Italy. Cremona is the worlds greatest center for violin makers. Its most famous resident was Antonio Stradivari. This film detailed how experts have searched for the secrets Antonio knew that allowed him to make the finest violins the world has ever seen. In short, they failed.

Peter noted it isn’t about engineering or science but more about the soul of the violin maker.

Funny words for a MIT business professor to use.

I’m not on the AppleWATCH bandwagon and to be honest, I hate my current iPhone. I’m sick of endless product revision using the latest hardware, endless software revisions, well, you know the drill. Being a geek at heart I have a lot of what’s known as legacy systems around my house. Many of these systems truly don’t work with current software and operating systems.

Then there is my wonderful Les Paul circa 1970. It is all vintage and more valuable today than the day I bought it. To learn more about things –

Personal Mastery – The search for Stradivarius – Society for Organizational Learning

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