Monday, July 10, 2006

Complexity and Simplicity

I am a late convert to Apple computers, having bought my first Mac only about 3 years ago. I thought that Apple users were just design snobs who valued form over function. And I thought that Steve Jobs was just the uber-snob for refusing to let other hardware makers design devices that could use his operating system.

I have changed my mind.

The Mac operating system - and associated software including iTunes - is beautifully intuitive. And what is better is that this intuitive software is so smoothly integrated with the hardware, including the computers and more recently the iPod.

This weekend while trying to watch the World Cup finals, I fumbled with 4 remote controls on my coffee table - one for the TV, one for the cable box, one for the Tivo, and one for the stereo sound system. All of the remotes are different, and the menus on each device are different. Ridiculous.

Recently I caved in and bought a Treo phone because I was tired of lugging both a Blackberry (which is great for email but a lousy phone) and a cell phone (which does not really do email).

Nice try, but the Treo is so clogged with different email programs, chat programs, etc., that it is a real pain to figure out. And that is true even though I have the Palm operating system, not windows.

If Apple were to make a TV system and a Treo-like phone, they would make a fortune. I am sure they are working on it.

This holds lessons for GlobalGiving, too.