Why I Believed for a Split Second My iPhone Brought Me No Value

July 29, 2015 / by Michael K. Redman

hand_holding_mobile_phone_with_iconsA friend of mine sent me a 2 minute video to watch that was well-made and really interesting - but it made me think about the power of persuasion when combined with quality video. I started to wonder if I was getting taken advantage of by companies that I buy stuff from - even when I’m really happy with what I have most of the time.

Take a look at the short video below and then see if you agree with any of my thoughts. Not all of you will care, but some of you might want to talk about it. Just a little food for thought.




If phones were designed to please their owners, rather than corporations

[Video courtesy of: Boing Boing]

The quality is great. From the video to the cool imagery to the music and the announcer’s voice. It’s also a good piece of persuasion. It really made me think for a moment that I’m being slighted and ignored by big companies. It even made me think for a split second that I am not getting any value at all out of my iPhone.  

What's not being said in this video?

Then I thought to myself, "Something isn't quite right. What’s not being said in this video? How much more powerful is that part of the video?"

The video implies we should 100% have the right to take people's ideas and do whatever we want with them. Otherwise, we're being limited and not able to express ourselves. The big companies are stopping us from making good ideas better. 

The video ignores the idea that the phone industry exploded in the U.S. under its laws and protection which allowed the Asian culture to copy and modify, but not invent. If the cell market in the U.S. wasn’t so big then would the opportunities be as far spread? Maybe, but the video doesn’t mention that.

I don't think we've gotten ourselves into a situation in the U.S. where large companies control everything and don't necesarrily bring us any value. People start companies, invest money, and take huge risks. Competition says that someone else could have taken risks and done a better job of marketing. We also create patent laws to give people more incentive to take the risks. Have our patent laws gone too far? 

I remember being in San Jose a couple of weeks before the iPhone was released. The buzz was high, but no one really knew what the demand would be. Asia hadn’t done anything like the iPhone yet. It was huge and the rest of the world adopted it as its own. The Blackberry would soon die a painful death.  

What I Think is Valuable

I think people should have the potential to be rewarded for their risks - when the iPhone came out, all Apple had was the iPod, it wasn't even a mobile company yet - and maybe even have some ability to protect their ideas. But some people just want the ability to use an idea that someone else invested in and do what they want with it including making money without any risk. I don’t know if that is good or bad or a bit of both. I know the way I wrote it makes it sound bad. 

Here is what I do know. I know I want a cell phone and I want it to do more than my last one. I don’t want to build one and I don’t want to customize the heck out of it to make it valuable to me.

The video wants me to believe that cell phones provide me no value and if I could just do whatever I wanted with my cell phone with no concern for anyone else then I would be happy. I am happy with my iPhone. It does what I want most of the time. I also have choice.

I love the power and elegance of a video like this one. It has the ability to persuade and I love persuasion. This video reminds me of a very old proverb: “The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.”  

Messaging and Marketing are powerful tools that demand we listen wisely. 

What do you hear when you watch this video?

Topics: Our Thought Bubbles, Marketing

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