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It just doesn’t $&%!* work! Why new tech products are increasingly unsatisfying

Aug 11, 2011

Harry McCracken has been reviewing technology products for 20 years and he’s seen it all—from products like the PalmPilot that blew him away, to ones that were downright hazardous, like a mouse that caught on fire. He says there's never been a time when so much of the new stuff he’s reviewing is so very far from being ready for mass consumption. “Sometimes it's a tad quirky; sometimes I can't get it to work at all. And when I call the manufacturers for help, they're often well aware of the problems I encountered.” What's going on here? McCracken chalks it up to three main culprits:

1.) Our beta, works-in-progress culture that demands prereleases and means no product has to be complete.

2.) Easy updates that let companies off the hook if they can trouble shoot bugs later with software upgrades.

3.) An unprecedented rush to beat the other guys that pushes products on the market before they’re ready, just to compete with their rivals.

How did we get to this point and what does it say about the state of the tech industry that it comes as a refreshing surprise when technology does work?

 It just doesnt $&%!* work! Why new tech products are increasingly unsatisfying  photo

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