Get Real

I watched the Biden-Ryan debate like everybody else, with intense interest in the election. But there was one part I noticed almost more than any other: the exchange about abortion.

There sat two men, each potentially the leader of the free world, neither of them with a uterus. And it was their job to explain why they were or weren't in favor of females having control over their own bodies, their own pregnancies, the course of their entire lives with respect to becoming mothers.

Mothers are the ones, overwhelmingly, who tend to the crying and wipe the spit and change diapers. Not men.

Afterwards my daughters asked me if I was "pro-choice or pro-life" and I replied angrily, "What a false choice - there is no difference between the two."

Because a mother knows that there are only difficult choices, and that birthing a child who is almost sure to know deprivation and abuse lifelong is not mercy.

Among the majority of technology producers who are male, Steve Jobs was rare in that he understood the human factor: People are the ones who buy, upgrade, recommend. Others are more fascinated with IpV6 or whatever. Who cares, until it's real?

Not that it's bad if a $400 Dyson can pick up ten pounds of animal hair from a shaggy carpet. But maybe a $59 Dirt Devil will do for most uses.

Like Mr. Miyagi said in The Karate Kid, "Focus, Daniel-San. Wipe on, wipe off."

Most people only use a microscopic amount of the technology in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook. They don't need it. They don't care.

I set up a training class for Google Docs the other day. Somebody said, "It's great technology. But if the link doesn't work when I click on it, then I'm done."

Sharepoint users say to me, "I don't want to learn Google Docs. I just learned this." Meaning how to open a document, make changes, and then close.

We overthink and overestimate what people want in product features. A car does not have to feature ten different kinds of apps in the dashboard, just one: A map that gets me there.

I don't need an orange juice loaded with fifteen kinds of vitamins. Just fresh would be great.

And when I buy shoes I don't care if they have spring-loaded insoles. I just don't want my feet to hurt at the end of the day, or for the sole to wear ragged in two months.

And I would love it if doctors treated the whole person rather than attack the isolated symptom as if it were a cell sitting at the bottom of a microscope. A theory, a case, a specimen.

When you're selling things to people - or services or ideas - get real. How will they use it? Can the average person understand and will it make their life better?

Simple - not abstract - utility. Feeling free. Or a little less miserable. That is what most people want.