It has been a few weeks now since the iPhone 6 launch, and my questions are: “Have you gotten one yet?”, “Are you one of those people who stood in line for hours on the first day to get one?”, and the obvious follow-up question - “Why?”
Of course depending which side you are on (i.e. “I need to have it right away!” versus “you are crazy!”), the answers to the “why” question will be drastically different. But, it is really a good question to ponder. Why would people stand in line for hours (or days) just to be the first to have it (and then drop it accidentally and break it, like the guy in New York)? I am not a psychologist and I can’t really analyze this question and provide any good explanation. However, what intrigues me more is why the iPhone 6 is so attractive to certain people that they are willing to spend hours of their time standing in line to get one? It does not matter what Samsung claims is the next BIG thing, no one seems to be willing to stand in line for a new Samsung phone; even though the Samsung phones may have had the features iPhone 6s has more than two years ago and the new Samsung phones coming out have unique features that are more advanced.
Well, I believe it is the infamous “it” factor that sports people like to use to describe why some players are superstars or always seem to win. They may not be the strongest, quickest, most skilled athletes but they just win. So iPhone has “it” and its competitors don’t, and why is it? Do you remember when Apple almost went under as a company? Before iPods, iPhones, and then iPads came along and totally changed the use of these “smart” devices in the marketplace and saved the company? Apple basically created new markets with these devices because they are innovative, unique, “easy to use” by the non-techie customers, and they became trendy and “cool” for young people, i.e. they drew new groups of customers and also converted a lot of people from using the perceived “outdated” technologies.
Even in the automation world, wouldn't it be great if customers were beating down companies’ doors to buy their products? It is paramount for companies to create innovative, unique products that meet customer requirements, and on top of that, make them easy to use by the employees they have. In other words, producing better (even much better) “me too” products is good but will not generate the excitement necessary to create the paradigm shift required for customers to move away from using products from their existing automation providers. Companies need to figure out the pain points of their potential customers and create unique and exciting solutions to sway them to their camps. It will require automation companies to take risk, to try new approaches, to think differently, and to act differently. Manufacturing people tend to be more conservative and resistant to change; and the responsibility is for automation companies to get them enthusiastic about the products and solutions and win them over. I am glad that Mitsubishi is heading that way with emphasis on custom solutions and striving for new ideas.