Someone Invent This Electronics Company

After watching this 60 Minutes clip about how thanks to crappy and complicated technology, geeks will rule the earth, we got to thinking.

Why doesn’t someone make a new, friendly, consumer electronics company, like a Apple meets Fisher-Price meets pre-DRM Sony? Don’t try to cram as many “advanced” features into new, hot, gadgets. Instead, make the product do basically what most people need it to do, and then do that very very well. Design the heck out of it, making it extremely intuitive and easy to use. Then make it cheaper than its competitors. Back it up with a lifetime warranty and a customer service department interested in creating life-long customers. Then, rule the earth.

Comments

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  1. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    And while your at it, make it grant wishes and transform into a unicorn.

  2. Uriel says:

    But noone likes Dell enough to make another one.

  3. quagmire0 says:

    nah.

  4. ragold says:

    Except for the penultimate two, it sounds like you’re talking about Apple. Making ipods cheaper than Korean knockoffs is the real trick.

  5. starrion says:

    design the heck out of it, back it with a lifetime warranty AND price it less than the competitors?

    Pick two and call me.

  6. dezinewiz says:

    Thanks! Will do!

    Pazzaria Productions

    [www.pazzariaepk.com]

  7. ltcmurray says:

    zippo lighter. Just works, guaranteed for life.

    I wish more companies would make a great, “focused” product and forget all of the typical bells and whistles.

    “Now I have a gps that plays mp3′s and movies, with pictures, a voice recorder, camera, and you can load National geographic maps.”

    “How is it as a GPS?”

    “meh”

  8. chili_dog says:

    It’s called Jitterbug. The cell phone for the terminally retarded. [www.jitterbug.com]

  9. MadMolecule says:

    Good grief, why don’t ALL electronics companies make products that work, look nice, are easy to use, and don’t cost an arm and a leg? I think about this every time I look at the “eject” button on my DVD remote control and wonder how much they jacked the price up for it.

  10. dezinewiz says:

    Pazzaria Productions Continued…

    This is part of my manifesto that I am currently creating. Interesting that this post should appear not minutes after I wrote this!

    “Improvements in bandwidth will be a necessity. I think that robotics are very much an essential link in modern society, and are being drastically underdeveloped, and at a snail’s pace here in the United States. Their is little excuse to not have a Jetson’s style way of living today. We have the technologies. It’s just a matter of implementation. On key example is video teleconferencing. Apple has licked the problem. Why isn’t it in every home, like a telephone? It’s ridiculous. We should also be using this technology in our offices spaces.”

    More to come!

    If you wish for a manifesto, I will put you on the list. Please e-mail me at pazzaria@mac.com

    Thanks!

    -Daniel

  11. d0x says:

    The problem with such a company are as follows…

    You need a ton of capital for just the R&D, not to mention making the product, and supporting the product for X# of years.

    Next up you have to consider that in the world of electronics only a select few companies make the major parts and the rest buy them and use them in their own products.

    For instance LCD TV panels arent made by company X, company X buys them from Samusung but then sells the tv for $500 cheaper then a same size Samsung LCD. Why? Simple, the Samsung TV has a been image processor (very important), more then likely better support/warranty and its also a fairly trust name brand so you know it will look good.

    While I love you idea and would enjoy starting it myself because I know what people want as I am one of them. First im going to need about a billion dollars to get it off the ground and marketed.

  12. d0x says:

    when i said Samsung has a “been image…” i mean to say “better image…”

    Whoops!

  13. nutbastard says:

    OK! I WILL DO IT! (right after im all done with my car company that makes a car that gets 150MPG, has no doors, carpets, radio, or walls, and only 2 tires. I call it “Vespa”)

  14. Cowboys_fan says:

    Sounds like consumerist is still living in the 1960′s!

  15. jaredgood1 says:

    You mean like Nintendo is trying to do?

    /Yea, I’m a Nintendo fanboy, but most of those corp ideals listed (intuitive, easy to use, cheaper than competitors, etc) are exactly what Nintendo is trying to do with the Wii.

  16. MercuryPDX says:

    Not trying to say this isn’t possible, just saying it won’t be accepted.

    When faced with a choice, an electronics consumer won’t go for “vanilla”. It HAS to do a bajillion things for mass acceptance. Case in point, chili_dog‘s comment. This phone would be great for my 74 year old dad, but I want more out of a phone than just the ability to make a phonecall.

    A really low price may work against it too. When I see phones selling for two and three hundred dollars, then see one for only $49.95, it would make me wonder “What’s wrong with it? Why is it so inexpensive?”.

  17. Chicago7 says:

    Aren’t there many of these companies already in existence – in JAPAN??

  18. d0x says:

    @jaredgood1: Well of course the Wii is cheaper then a 360 or PS3. It uses all the same hardware as the Gamecube, only difference is the cpu and gpu have higher clock rates…which is free. It also has more ram but not much more and since ram isnt incredibly expensive when you buy it in bulk…well you get the idea

  19. royal72 says:

    “Why doesn’t someone make…”

    lol ben, a nice can of worms you’re opening asking that one. the secret is that anyone with the means could and quite a few companies/people throughout history have no doubt tried. unfortunately there are two deciding factors, that make this about as likely, as everyone being happy and living fulfilling lives. regardless of how you attack the problem and for which particular industry, greed and politics are the two factors, that will never allow what you are asking for to happen.

    for instance, take electricity. not that this is an end all answer to our energy problems, but it’s a start… everyone who owns their property is required to use solar, wind, or another renewable power source. you use the energy needed for your property, and the excess energy is “sold” to the nation to support public institutions, etc… this in turn brings us to a viable electric car solution while were at it. you can either charge your vehicle at home (property owners), or at national fueling stations that we all contribute to via taxes or excess energy. this of course reduces emissions, other oil waste products as well, etc., etc., etc… the point being it’s really not that hard to figure out solutions.

    unfortunately solutions like the simplified example above, will never happen. why? greed for wealth and politics to keep control of that wealth.

  20. This is why the Wii sold millions, the 360 sold well and the PS3 flopped.

    People want something CHEAP and EASY. The Wii can be played by infants, dogs, the senile and programmed LEGO robots, while the PS3 makes people go ‘wha?’.

    Actually, bad analogy. But seriously, if the iPod around half its current price (as it should be dammit!) I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  21. yahonza says:

    “unfortunately solutions like the simplified example above, will never happen. why? greed for wealth and politics to keep control of that wealth.”

    I think there might be just a FEW more problems with your scenario other than greed. For example, there is no technology on earth that I could use to power my own home for less than I pay in electricity now, let alone have excess to sell to others.

    Its a little like suggesting that we all grow all of our own food in our backyard. Well, that’s a hell of a lot more trouble than I go to for food now, and I don’t even have a backyard.

    You basically want to eliminate division of labor, which would mean we would all have to work a lot harder to have what we have now. Darn that greed!

  22. upokyin says:

    How would such a company stay in business? You spend a ton of money on R&D to “design the hell out of” your gadget. Then you sell it for cheaper than your competitors so it takes longer for you to just break even. Eventually, everybody who wants your gadget will own one and you can’t sell new products because you aren’t supposed to add new bells and whistles and the existing products are all covered by the lifetime warranty. So you’re not making any new money but you’re still spending money supporting old products until the end of time. Does that sound like a business plan?

  23. swalve says:

    Because geeks wouldn’t be geeks if they understood and/or related to other humans. It has become a cultural thing.

  24. BrianH says:

    The “penultimate” in your comment doesn’t make any sense.

  25. BrianH says:

    @BrianH: Sorry, the @Ragold portion cut off. Without that, *my* comment makes no sense.

  26. upokyin says:

    @chili_dog: That phone is for the elderly.

  27. jaredgood1 says:

    @d0x: Why it’s cheaper is a moot point given the context of the article and what the article is suggesting companies do.

  28. wesrubix says:

    Someone already did: Nintendo.

  29. AaronGNP says:

    @MadMolecule: Thank god I’m not the only one who wonders about the eject button located on the remote… I mean are the people who train service dogs teaching the dogs how to switch DVDs for the handicapped? I see no other logical reason why one would need an eject button on a fricken remote!

  30. swalve says:

    @AaronGNP: I suspect its one of those features that everyone wants but nobody uses. I must admit I’ve hit the eject button so that it was busily ejecting while I was walking across the room.

  31. FLConsumer says:

    I love having the eject button on the remote — it allows me to control the DVD players with my home’s touchscreen system.

    Personally, I’d settle for equipment which actually WORKS. I’m tired of all sorts of features that don’t actually work (read: mobile phones) or don’t work well. I’m not a fan of feature creep.

  32. ribex says:

    The eject button can be useful when a DVD (particularly a home-burned disc) freezes or otherwise messes with the normal DVD player operation. When the unit stops responding to other button presses, the eject almost always still works. YMMV, HAND, IANAL, etc etc.

  33. huginn says:

    They have something like this, it is called the Wii.

    Nintendo: Start making PCs Please

  34. girly says:

    Actually Sansa did that with an MP3 player: the Sansa Shaker.

    I just bought a 512gb one for $26.99 (free shipping) and I really like it.

    Supposedly the sound quality is not top notch but I think it is awesome! It has ONE BUTTON and two twist controls (for volume and navigating track). I love the built-in speaker.

    Also comes with a clip. As soon as I get songs loaded on it, I look forward to being able to work around out the house/ outside with this clipped to me and no annoying headphones!

  35. mac-phisto says:

    some people talking about eject buttons on remotes, no one talking about how you can’t operate (most) dvd players w/o a remote. my player has 4 buttons: play, skip forward, skip backward, stop/eject. HOW DO I NAVIGATE MENU W/O NAVIGATION KEYS!?!??!!?

    10 years later & i’ve yet to see one.

  36. TexasScout says:

    This is exactly what Garmin has done with a lot of their “street pilot” GPS units. I have a cheap C320 that is so easy to use and intuitive. I have never been so satisfied with a piece of electronic wizardry as this. The C330 is even better because you don’t’ even need to load any maps. Props to Garmin!

  37. rmz says:

    Sounds like Apple, except for the “price it lower than the competitors” part.

  38. jaredgood1 says:

    @MadMolecule: I think the same thing when I look at the eject… finger sensor… thing… on the PS3. Yea, it’s kinda neat, but how did that cost vs. the cost of a button.

  39. MadMolecule says:

    @mac-phisto: That’s a really good point. My wife and I moved about six weeks ago, and even though we were careful with such things, somehow the remote to one of the DVD players got lost. Result: You can’t navigate any of the menus. The player is almost useless.

  40. louisb3 says:

    @rmz: Seconded.