Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Critical Success Factors

With hindsight, we can tell what cause certain things to succeed wildly.  My takes are as follows.

BlackBerry: It was the full qwerty keyboard.  Anyone who has tried to use a 0-9#* keyboard to enter an Url, even with T9, will realize that it is a real pain.  All BlackBerrys had a full qwerty keyboard, and to me that was the critical success factor.  It is not enterprise acceptance because of fantastic security.  In fact, any CIO who recommends the BlackBerry service should be sacked.  Permitting all mails to go to route to one Canadian operator is plain wrong.

iPhone: The pinch zooming and touch panning.  The iPhone screen is small, very small, only 480x320 addressable dots.  No web pages can fit into that amount of real estate.  Hence, the ability of a very quick way to allow the whole page to be read is critical.  All small screens without a similarly efficient way to pan has failed without exception.

SMS: The limit of less than 160 characters.  Surprising as it may be, the inability to send long messages is the critical success factor for SMS.  If SMS (initially) had the ability to send long messages it would have been still born.  The expectation of a capability of something like email is that people will want to send email.  But with a 12-key keypad, emails would be killed instantly.  Other contributing factors could be the negligible bandwidth required, the 99.99% availability of an SMS app on every make and model of mobile phone, and the fire and forget capability of messaging.