Services -- straight and deep
Applications are not interesting. They are old-fashioned. But I still struggle and often think about applications. I think about applications such as emails, browsers, instant messaging applications, and so forth. How stupid is this. Especially in the mobile space.
It is funny that I never think about a “phone call” application, although from the software point of view it just an application; similar to an email and other applications. I bet my application thinking originates from the desktop world where I’m used to “install”, and ”purchase”, and “use” applications, such as word processors and spreadsheets. But such thinking feels increasingly stupid and I predict that such thinking will first disappear from the mobile world and eventually from the desktop, too.Services should go straight and deep
So instead of applications that do things, let’s talk about services that serve users’ needs. So what are my experiences of mobile services so far?
A good service goes straight and goes deep. (Ari’s service rule, eh eh). An example of a straight & deep service is an old-fashioned phone call. It is straight: I just click your name on the phone book. And it is deep: It automatically makes all the necessary steps and gets you in the other end of the conversation. So an old-fashioned phone call is a service provided by my phone, my operator, and my friend in the other end of the conversation. It is straight: green button. It is deep: we’ll talk!
So let me introduce two services that are not straight or deep.
I subscribe to a portal service provided by my cell operator. I first open a phone browser and then select a bookmark provided by my operator. Then, I have a selection of things such as “Ringing tones”, “Pictures”, “Games”, and “Applications”. I select “Games” and the I select “Categories” and then I select “Fun” and then I get a screen that says “not supported by my phone”. After selecting different categories I finally find some games. And then, well, I need to figure out how to buy and download one! Not very straight forward.
I used a non-Nokia phone for a few months. It is good to use competitors’ devices ;-). The phone provided an interesting service that uses the technology created by Gracenote. This is how it works: I’m driving down the road an hear a nice song on the radio. I put the phone next to the car speaker and press a few buttons. In a few seconds I get a text message that tells me the artist, the song and the album. A marvelous piece of engineering --- but not very deep. I’d like to purchase the song, or listen it again, or something. But the service doesn’t go that deep. It just sends me a text message – almost like a teaser!
So, gimme straight and deep, please. The one that does, wins.