Doug Garnett’s Blog


My iPad – Post 4 – The Human Scale

Sometimes it’s the small things that make a product revolutionary. That’s part of what drives some Windows advocates crazy about the Mac. Many small Mac advantages add up to a big advantage to the people who appreciate them. But, it’s much easier to respect a single feature that delivers an outright, hands down, unequivocal win.

Hence, highly complex products become reduced to single (and generally meaningless) numbers. Vacuums are rated by watts, power drills by volts, PC’s by raw CPU clock speed and higher education by list like “US News Top 100 Report”. None of these reflects product quality, power, or value. But salesman and retailers rely on them and we begin to as well.

But I digress. To the point, Flatland (my 32 GB iPad 3G) is revealing “small things” that add up to sea change. Had a meeting in a suite today. Sitting on the sofa I was able to set the iPad in my lap and casually bring up websites we needed for the meeting, search for small bits of information we needed, and look at memo’s we were discussing.

What I noticed was the ease with which this worked into the meeting while enabling deeper discussion – improving the quality of the meeting. I wouldn’t have used a laptop for these purposes. It would have been wrong to disappear behind the screen.

Is this big deal? Not really. And yes, absolutely.

No, because it’s really a simple small thing where I merely liked my iPad for what it allowed. But yes, because I think this is an indicator of how the iPad is a game changer.

There’s no way to consider a computer (even a laptop from Apple) to be anything but a machine. A machine takes thought to run, consideration to do things, and a skill level. But the iPad just works. And it’s just something I can use to make my day go better.

In many ways, Flatland is becoming a companion to the Moleskine reporter pads I carry for notes & thinking & to record what happens in meetings. On this business trip, I’m taking it everywhere & using it everywhere – on the show floor, to my meetings, to the restaurant for dinner. I’d never carry a laptop “everywhere”.

Having said this, I’m also quite clear that these experiences work for my personal style. And they make me appreciate how Apple’s team has reduced a mass of complex technology to an approachable human scale.

Copyright 2010. Doug Garnett

Categories:   Big Data and Technology, Communication, Digital/On-line, Human Tech, iPad Experiences, Technology Advertising