Sucky Products Suck - or is it just that good products are great?

By Spicer Matthews

I admit it. I have made many friends and family members’ ears bleed with my constant raving of a particular product once and again. When I fall in love with a product I make sure everyone around me knows. I form a complete disdain for the use of any other product. I have never understood why until recently. Beyond my comprehension, I have always loved Basecamp over Jira even though Jira does way more. It puzzles me why I love my Mac more than any other computer when Linux gives me all the control in the world. I always wondered why I am willing to pay up for a JetBlue flight when United will get me to the same place cheaper.

I stood in line for hours to be the first to buy the iPhone. The phone really was a game changer. After a year or two I dumped the iPhone and went all Android. I had this concept that I wanted more control over my phone. I did not want Apple telling me what to do with the hardware I paid for. After almost 2 years of using the Android I went back to the iPhone. I realized all the features, control, and freedom Android offered was at the cost of a shitty product. To me there was nothing engaging about using an Android. There was no emotional connection.

suck meter

I think feature bloat in most products is nothing more than mind tricks. We get wrapped up in the fantasy of all the stuff we can do with those features. We feel a product is so much better because the feature list is longer. We feel if we have the control to hack away on our products they are somehow better.

So, when I say a product is no good, or better yet, another one is simply amazing, I can’t aways give you a bulleted list of the reasons for my affirmation. I can’t always define in words why one sucks me in while the other just sucks. You just sort of know when a product is top notch. You get the feeling great care and attention to detail was put into building it. You know because you find yourself engaged using it; you look forward to the next time you get to use it. It becomes a friend to you, rather than a utility.

Think of it this way. I can’t tell you every reason why I love my wife, I don’t really know. I am not completely sure why I chose to spend the rest of my life with her. There is something so engaging about her that it brings out all my passion. Products that don’t suck are the same way.