The Ghost Of Christmas Future

Was reading Henry Jenkin’s Convergence Culture, and specifically the example of the New Orleans New Media Experience in October 2003. Lots of talk between Microsoft and Sony, apparently, about what would make people buy Grandpa a console for Christmas.

Which made me think about the tendency of Christmas to be a step-changer in technological takeup. (Remember DVD players in Argos?) And about whether part of the secret of making that step change happen is how good you are at giving people (users?) reasons to buy it for completely different groups of people.

Like when I got my DVD player for my Grandad, I got a simple one. Now before that Christmas probably very few Grandads had DVD players. So simplicity wouldn’t have been on the techie developer’s radar.

Rewind a couple of years, though, when the model I bought was on the drawing board, somebody thought ahead and made a DVD player for my Grandad, who at that moment probably hadn’t even heard of DVD players.

(Or maybe they just made a DVD player that would be cheap – in which case, happy accident.)

Which I guess means that people should plan ahead to the mass takeoff of their product. Think about what will make that happen (possibly with one eye on gifting occasions). Probably ignore all the expert reviewers, who want spec. Then plan it in up front.


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