I’ve recently come to a realization: I like products.
I find it enjoyable to research products, compare features, look at reviews, and pick the seemingly best one. It is satisfying to then hunt for the best price and get it as cheap as possible. Once acquired/delivered, it’s fun to unpack, explore and assimilate it into daily use. I’m the kind of guy who actually reads manuals/instructions and makes sure I understand and – where possible – use all the available features. Even months or years later, when I’m using a product, I still remember why and where I bought it and I really appreciate good design, manufacturing and useful features. And aren’t there cool things to buy these days? It’s hard not to be pleased with items such as the iPhone, big screen TVs, cars, and even a good dishwasher due to their usually high quality, reliability, design and features. To a large extent, the same applies to well-designed web sites and software. They’re fun to use and help meet a user need in a productive and elegant manner.
Just 15-20 years ago, it seems that products weren’t as cool, sophisticated and useful. It was more about the basics. The stuff we nowadays use is so much cooler as well as more affordable than back then. And who knows what’s still to come?
The other part of my realization is that not everyone loves products like I do. Maybe it’s stereotypical, but as a generalization I would take a guess and say men are much more likely to be appreciative of good products. Somehow I don’t know too many women who have the same love and appreciation for products, who research them, read manuals, and get excited about cool features. Is it that they’re just more into people vs. things or that while men are gadget aficionados, women tend to be more into clothes and decorative vs. functional items? (Yes, I know, it sounds even more stereotypical now…) There’s just a different level of interest there.
Whatever the case, I’m quite excited about all the cool products available today! This is a good time to be a consumer!