I’m a geek who likes new technologies. I can easily get myself worked up into wanting a certain device due to a combination of the way it has been marketed to me and the way that I’ve marketed it to myself.
When I was in my teens I got myself really excited about OS/2 Warp. You’ve probably never heard of it, but it was a computer operating system. I can’t remember the exact selling points that made me want it so badly but I think it had to do with multitasking or a better user interface. Who knows now.
I finally bought OS/2 and I was so excited. I installed it on my first computer, which was a 386 and I’m sure I was giddy throughout the entire installation process. And when it was complete, I asked myself “ok self, now what can I do with this?” And I didn’t have an answer.
That wasn’t the last time that I was beguiled by my geeky desires into buying something that I didn’t have a use for, but fortunately I’ve grown wary of those temptations. Now, if I can’t answer exactly what I want to do with something then I can usually resist.
But my point isn’t that you should resist technology. My point is that if you are creating technology then you need to show people what they can do with it. You’ll easily seduce geeks with specs and smooth, chamfered aluminum, but most people just don’t care. They care about how it will fit into their life and make their life better. They care about how difficult it will be to switch from what they have already have and will most likely not see why the change is worth that pain.
So make sure you can show people how they can use your thing or directly benefit from it. And if you can’t figure out how to do that, then you probably need to rethink your thing.