Jiva Technology

Fashionable: to be or not to be, that is the question.

It’s a conundrum. Take two good examples: Facebook and the iPhone. Both are technology products/services that have built their success by becoming exquisitely fashionable. But does that fashionable appeal inevitably mean that they will at some point become unfashionable? And does that mean that in the long run, it’s better to an unfashionable tech product, or at least, only somewhat fashionable?

It seems to me that Facebook has peaked. I have no hard evidence to support this other than a general apathy for the site amongst pretty much everyone I know, including my kids and their friends. That’s hardly scientific, but for a site that was built on virility, it could become a problem. People don’t seem to be leaving, but they don’t seem to be doing much either.

The iPhone has been the definition of the smash hit, but I was slightly shocked when I heard from a friend last week that all the local kids thought that the iPhone was for older people and that Android was where it’s at. I was shocked because I was in Palo Alto, close to the epicentre of Silicon Valley and presumably the home of all things shiny and new in the tech world. These are kids that are the earliest of early adopters.

With the caveat that I’m well known for drawing far reaching conclusions from a few meagre data points, I have started to think that being fashionable in the tech world is great whilst it lasts, but on the web in particular, functional and boring is what counts in the long term.


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