Sunday, 18 October 2009

Let your community fix it!

As companies develop new products, weather it was a software, a car, a furniture or even some sort of food, they put their efforts to bring the best to the end user, unfortunately "the Best" is a relative concept, which is usually coming from the vendor's point of view..

Here comes the power of the community, as people start using this product, they start to think of additional uses that they would like to have, they like the product, but hey want it to have some additional features! This is very obvious in the software industry.. So, people start to customize those products to fit their needs & expectations, which results in enhancements that the original vendor couldn't think of!, additionally different people have different tastes & expectations, which will result in different customizations and enhancements that could fit any audience starting from the same base product.

I've been a windows mobile user for 5 years, and it was limited in it's out of the box features, but the powerful community of Microsoft developers, the extensive APIs & the ability to extend anything in the core operating system filled any gaps that Microsoft had, the community has built (both commercially & freely) many programs & system extensions that promoted the OS to a higher level of usefulness for its users!

On the other hand, I became an iPhone owner a couple of months ago, and as much as I adore the device, as much as I'm angry of Apple! You have created a revolutionary device that turned the industry upside down.. But yet, no system is perfect.. And in a very strange move, prevented your community from filling your gaps.. Restricting developers from many of much needed access to some system resources. I find it very awkward if I need to add a reminder or alarm in my custom application I would need to send it as a push notification through the Internet! I can't add my alarms to the system notification queue!And there is no way to extend, override, or customize a system behavior.. So, limitations cannot be fixed!

of course this is with the legitimately developed applications!.. but Jailbreaking the device removes all those limitations, & brings the power of a very skilled community that developed some incredible extensions to the OS, such as inline spell checker when writing emails, scroll bars, true multitasking ( keep applications running in the background ) .. & hundreds of great applications that can never be done in a standard system ( non-jailbroken ).

Such extensions enhance the products in an incredible way, extending the life of them by keep introducing new extensions & capabilities to the product from the enthusiastic community.

Strangely, apple totally ignores the community power, the device is still great, no limitation in the hardware or design, limits are only forced by apple on the developers!, but the IT & Communications market is changing fast, & such limits could result in there device lagging back behind other innovators that are coming strong such as Google Android!

I don't know, maybe because I see & touch what the community power could do (I'm an E2.0 consultant!) but i think this is a big mistake from apple!

Unleash the power of your loyal community, let them extend your system as they like it to be, let them enhance the product without limiting their creativity, let the community fix your mistakes, this would definitely empower the iPhone, & extend it's competitive life much further, while enabling the creativity of your community to drive the competition war for you!

Pleaseee let your community fix it!

This Post has been published on ArabCrunch!
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