Friction as privilege
Whenever there is friction in a process, you need an expert to fix it or get things done. Editing digital photos or setting up a smartphone is an expert-intensive thing. There is a famous quote,
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.
It is very true. Apart from being magical, it democratises for people. Instagram or an iPad make grandma’s to share beautifully retouched pictures. We can extend this to many more things like ETFs for investments, ePayments for bills, etc.
I had a realisation of this today, after I experienced Apple’s AirPods.
Give this a thought. Connecting with a bluetooth earphone was a friction filled process. First, you need to pair it (which as a process will fail a grandma’s test). Then you need to switch it on. You need to remember it to charge it. If you miss any of these steps, your intent to do that action with that earphone will quickly steam down. Your regular wired earphones always become a backup. To use a bluetooth earphone, you need to be a little bit tech-savvy.
AirPod smashes these assumptions and makes it a breeze to use.
IT REALLY IS MAGIC. It is so simple to pair. Very easy to connect and know the battery status. It is a delight to use.
Once a technology or product reaches that magic threshold it explodes in growth. Cost of it comes down. Everybody gets access to it.
What are things (product/technology/process) you feel are still in the pre-magic realm for you?