Nostalgia doesn’t make for good technology business sense, as Blackberry exemplifies. blog.mindrocketnow.com
I recently had a minidisc player fitted into our car. I think this illustrates two points: that I love old technology because of the nostalgia it evokes, and that old technology can still fulfil its original purpose even though it may have been rendered obsolete. It’s entirely incidental that minidiscs are actually quite well suited to use in cars, because they’re much smaller than CDs so you can fit more into your glove compartment. (Especially since my car is an ickle Rover Mini, and therefore has a commensurately ickle glove compartment.)
The same is true for my Blackberry. It’s entirely incidental to me that the keyboard makes it better suited to tapping out emails than any touch-screen haptic effort. I have a sense of nostalgia every time I use it, because it was once cool. And it is still pretty good at making calls and reading emails (and frustratingly rubbish at browsing, viewing media, or indeed anything “smart”). However, its zeitgeist has moved on, its influence has waned, and it’s now the province of enthusiasts – a death knell for any technology.
By all accounts, the new BBOS 10 is actually quite good. Unfortunately, that’s beside the point now. Despite its best efforts, Blackberry was successful by being fashionable, and fashion is ruthless in dumping past paramours for newer models, as this week’s news on Q10 sales bear out. (Just as well my darling wife didn’t marry me for my keen tech fashion sense.)