Don’t worry, be crappy

Everything I read about PlayBook, the new tablet from Research In Motion that’s about to be launched, says it isn’t quite ready. In technology, when did this begin to matter? Microsoft sold software for years that had glitches, fixing them on the fly. RIM has been through this before with the launch of the BlackBerry itself.

Dave Castell, just recently graduated from University of Waterloo was put in charge of a team in 1998 to create what would become BlackBerry. Until that point, RIM had in essence been making two-way pagers. One of the books that Castell’s group found helpful was Guy Kawasaki’s “Rules For Revolutionaries.” One of the chapters, called “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy,” described the launch of the Macintosh in 1984 and argued that revolutionary products can’t be perfect. Companies can’t keep postponing the launch to make improvements. Another chapter, “Churn, Baby, Churn” said that once a product was released, then you fix the problems that show up as fast as possible.

Launched on January 19, 1999, BlackBerry had glitches that all got fixed. Why it didn’t even look like the current version; it still resembled the teeny, tiny previous model known as the Inter@ctive Pager 950. It wasn’t until April 2000 that the BlackBerry 957 was introduced with a bigger, sharper screen that displayed twice as many lines as its predecessor and appeared like the more modern versions.

So what’s the big deal? Not-quite-ready-for-market has an honorable history. As for missing ingredients, does iPad have Flash?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *