By Jon Miller | Post Date: June 30, 2007 11:25 PM | Comments: 7
One way to reduce wasted time waiting in airports or in rental car queues is to read and respond to e-mail. This requires a devices such as a blackberry or high-end mobile phone. So far this is a luxury I've lived without but with all of the travel lately it seems like it may be worth the investment.
So it was with interest that I watched the launch of the Apple iPhone this week. So far it doesn't look like the mobile device of choice for business. The lack of keyboard is a concern, but more so than personal issues with its innovative user interface, the entire Apple iPhone experience is not Lean consumption, and therefore is undeserving of our money.
In the book Lean Solutions: How Companies and Customers Can Create Value and Wealth Together, Jim Womack and Dan Jones coined "Lean consumption" which although it sounds like a nasty medieval wasting disease, is an extension of their brand of all things Lean to the customer experience. I confess that I haven't read the book, but the idea is straightforward and easy to relate to as a consumer.
Womack described Lean consumption in a September 2005 IndustryWeek article as:
"Even with those advances most manufacturers are not making a great deal of money and customers aren't happy," explains Womack citing the need for lean consumption. "Lean consumption involves solving customers' problems completely, not wasting their time, providing exactly what the customer wants, in a location they prefer and a timeframe they need. And finally it is helping customers reduce efforts to solve their own set of problems."
To summarize Lean consumption, the consumer wants the producer or service provider to:
1) Solve my problem completely
This seems like a reasonable list of demands in exchange for the money in my wallet.
Based on feedback from bloggers as citizen journalists, Apple and AT&T are delivering anything but a Lean consumption experience. Apple & AT&T are wasting people's time and creating problems with activation, rather than solving the problem.
There are reports that several AT&T stores forced customers to buy accessories with iPhone. This is not only not customer-focused, it is illegal, and creates rather than reduces problems for consumers who want to return the forcibly bundled items a day later.
There is some evidence that Apple's might have drunk their own massive-hype marketing Kool-aid that they would sell millions of these iPhones. The early indication is that there is plenty of stock left on the shelves because of product-out technology push rather than market-in delivery just in time. It doesn't help that the iPhones are built an ocean away. Overproduction perhaps?Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.