Nima Dilmaghani’s Technology Blog

Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie at EclipseCon

Posted in Technology and Software by nimad on March 22, 2006

Joel Spolsky gave the opening keynote speech at EclipseCon today.  It was a brilliant talk that used a lot of humor to explain why often times mediocre products outsell their competition that is better built, less expensive and more functional.  He used a comparison between the incredibly successful Apple iPod vs. the poorly selling NOMAD Jukebox Zen Xtra that sells for less and has many more features than the iPod.  Joel said that in order for a product to be successful, it has to have three qualities:

  1. Make people happy – help them be more in control.  Do not force them to do things in particular order.  The Amazon web site is well designed because it doesn’t force you to do things in a particular order vs the Abercrombie &  Fitch‘s wizard format that forces you to do things in order.
  2. Think about emotions.   
    • Make folks feel safe.  He mentioned the research of G. Clotaire Rapaille who believes among other things that woman buying cars first look to see if they have cup holders.   
  3. Obsess about aesthetics.
    1. While iPod comes in many colors, NOMAD Jukebox Zen Xtra comes in ugly.
    2. You can’t change the battery of an iPod.  Adding the extra stuff to be able to change it, destroys iPod’s perfect beauty.  You can change the battery for NOMAD Jukebox Zen Xtra
    3. Always go for Style over comfort.  This is what is known as fashion.

He told us the story of how a dotcom, back in the dotcom heyday, rose 12 million dollars, and then paid almost all of it to IBM to build their application.  At the end all they had was documents IBM had assembled with no product.  They spent it and didn’t deliver.  Joel’s company spent 2.5 weeks to build the product.  The startup was not happy with it since their product didn’t look slick.  So they made it look slick, by basically changing some fonts and shading the background.

Right after the IBM story, he put Keanu Reeves’ picture on the screen and said: “He is so stupid that he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot even if the instructions were printed on the heel.?  I am not sure how much of this was pointed at Keanu and how much of it was pointed at the IBM consultants on the project he talked about.

So, what does this have to do with Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie?  He used their photos to make a point. 



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