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David Pogue on why products fail.

Posted: July 13th, 2017, 10:06 am
by Richard Stokes
I've just updated my Mac to the Sierra operating system. So I also bought David Pogue's massive guide to Sierra from Amazon.
I then came across Pogue's TED talk on 'Why Products Fail' which is amusing in its own right:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dEHB9O ... .151523084

He discusses the Upgrade Paradox: if you improve a product enough times, you eventually ruin it.
The software developers pile on extra features in order to entice you to upgrade - until they start loading up with functions you never asked for.

This reminded me of the cautionary advice to conjurors that when we try to improve a magic trick we run the risk of making it worse.

By the way, who actually coined the expression 'improving things worse'?
Apparently, there is a German expression - Verschlimmbesserung - which captures this expression in one word.

Would it be more beneficial to pursue an uncluttered, unplugged type of magic?

Pogue also refers to the deplorable Fix-It-Later Syndrome
I think this can easily be applied to magic products.
He comes out with a good aphorism: You don't get a second chance with a first impression.

He ends his presentation with the 80% rule : 80% of everything is crap - but you don't know which of your darlings belong in the 20% success category until they reach the market place.
He illustrates this with a personal anecdote about William Goldman. Pogue after finishing Uni made house calls to celebrities in New York and taught them how to use their Macs. Goldman was one of his famous clients.
We probably remember Princess Bride, Marathon Man & Butch Cassidy, but who amongst you read 'Your Turn to Curtsy, My Turn to Bow'?

Re: David Pogue on why products fail.

Posted: July 14th, 2017, 2:18 am
by Richard Hatch
Not entirely relevant to the above discussion, but David Pogue is also a magician, and the author of MAGIC FOR DUMMIES (https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Dummies-David-Pogue/dp/0764551019/)
And one of William Goldman's bestselling novels was MAGIC (https://www.amazon.com/Magic-William-Goldman/dp/0440151414/), on which I believe Richard Kaufman was a magic consultant.

Re: David Pogue on why products fail.

Posted: July 18th, 2017, 2:27 pm
by Gordon Meyer
Ironically, Pogue's "missing manual" series fell into the very same Upgrade Paradox trap, eventually becoming parodies of themselves.

Re: David Pogue on why products fail.

Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 11:21 am
by Richard Stokes
Having upgraded to Sierra, I was quite annoyed this morning to find that my Canon IXUS compact camera can no longer download pictures to my iMac either by USB cord or wirelessly.
On Yosemite it was automatic and idiot-proof.
Fortunately, I have an old Yosemite based laptop so I was able to download the pictures to my moth-eaten( faulty trackpad) laptop and then email them to my iMac.
(The photos were of faulty binding in a brand new magic book.)

This failure to ensure backwards compatibility is such a pain.

Re: David Pogue on why products fail.

Posted: July 22nd, 2017, 11:44 am
by lybrary
Gordon Meyer wrote:Ironically, Pogue's "missing manual" series fell into the very same Upgrade Paradox trap, eventually becoming parodies of themselves.

Perhaps that is where he experienced it first hand, which allowed him to write informed about it, rather than simply regurgitate what others have written about this subject before.