Friday, November 1, 2013

And is better

Commercials for EcoBoost-powered Fords feature an “And is Better” campaign. They show it’s better, for example, to get sweet and sour chicken, not sweet or sour; a bed and breakfast is better than choosing between a bed or breakfast. The point: their cars offer nice features in addition to great gas mileage.

My point: And is always better. Especially when it comes to technology. Too many tech entrepreneurs and corporations talk about category killers – how their latest and greatest will make previous technology history.

A New Yorker profile of Jack Dorsey – from Twitter and Square – relates his hope that one day his credit-card reader for mobile devices will kill the cash register.

Financial institutions hope they have the killer app to drive more consumers to adopt mobile banking, further reducing their need for tellers, as ATMs have done.

Netflix hopes whole seasons of killer content will appeal to viewers who binge-watch multiple episodes of shows, instead of following along week by week, changing the very nature of television programming.

But why kill off useful, if somewhat older, technology and customs when you can offer more ways for people to get to you? Some will adopt the latest, coolest, techiest approach. Some prefer the secure comfort of known ways.

If you’ve ever helped an elderly relative transition from analog to digital TV, with multifunction, many-buttoned remotes, you can see why for some people, in some cases, the old ways are better. Another elder vs. digital example: computers and smartphones. Some delight in learning new things; some won’t even touch them.

So why must it be one thing or the other? I want one thing and the others.

I want:
•    Email, text, and postal delivery
•    Newspapers, magazines, and books in print…and e-books
•    Terrestrial and satellite radio
•    A quality SLR digital camera and my smartphone camera
•    A touch screen and physical keyboard on my smartphone
•    Prime-time television and on-demand viewing and streaming video

The beauty of technology is its ability to bring out exciting new things. The draw of old technology can be anything from sentimental value to reliable workhorse to versatile options.

And is always better in my book (and my Kindle).

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