The HP TouchPad was reviewed on several sites last week. And one thing rang clear: the TouchPad’s software, and to some extent, hardware were half-baked. The OS, webOS, was laggy and some important features, such as threaded emails, were missing. This sounds familiar. A couple of weeks ago Apple released Final Cut Pro X (say ten). The software, although not laggy was missing some important features that nearly all pro editors need in an editing software.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a fully baked product. Having a completed, polished product at launch is making an important first impression. First, those darn bloggers get their hands on the product. They will influence the original bent, positive or negative, that customers have before getting their hands on a product in-store. Next, after a customer has heard about the product online or on TV, they go to the store and try the product if they can. This is when it is most essential, in my opinion, to have a polished product. People can ignore bloggers, commercials are so heavily glossed they are not reliable, and once a customer has purchased a product the company has already won, whether the customer enjoys the product or not. When a customer walks into the store, the manufacturer has one minute at best to wow the customer. The customer needs to be delighted while they lazily tap and swipe the glass screen. If the customer sees any lag or hesitation during their minute with the product what are they to assume about the rest of the product that they hadn’t seen? This is one reason why the iPad, iPhone, and iPod are so successful, they are fully-baked products from the get-go. If the TouchPad had spent one month, just one month, longer in development and HP stomped out some of the bugs, imagine how great of an impression that it could have made. The HP TouchPad could have been the first real iPad challenger. HP had a shot, took it, and missed.
Final Cut Pro X was a total rewrite of the industry-standard Final Cut Pro 7. During this rewrite some important pro features were lost in the transition. Apple has said that these will all return in future updates, however this means that professional users cannot use this software as much as they would like to, cannot use it at all, or have to find alternate ways to do a previously trivial task. Although I think what Apple did with FCP X took some serious guts they should have spent a month or two more adding those features to the software or, if necessary, continued selling Final Cut 7 to professionals who need those features that didn’t make the final cut. (John Gruber thinks so too) I think Apple should have known better and, like HP, the best option was to spend a few extra weeks in fully fleshing out and trimming their product.
A little more work On both these products could have gone a long way.