When Apple first introduced the iPod, it was greeted with the now classic Slashdot lead: “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” When Apple first introduced the iPod Mini, the pundit consensus was that, at only $50 less than the iPod classic, nobody would buy a device with a quarter of the hard drive space of its older brother.
You can go back further. Every single generation of iMac has been greeted with complaints that there are no expansion slots, you can’t upgrade it, you can’t replace the screen, and in the case of the original iMac it was missing that most vital of peripherals, the 3.5 inch floppy drive.
The tech press, it seems, has a bad record on judging products on criteria you can’t fit on a feature matrix.
Which is a problem, because feature matrices suck. A feature matrix says: “Here is what everyone else is doing. To be competitive you must do the same.” Where’s the differentiation? Where’s the innovation in doing exactly what everyone else does, ticking the boxes, shaving off one or two points in each row so you get the green tick?
[The Fishbowl: “Heavier than Air”, via John Gruber.]