The hook is shiny enough that this fish is more than happy to bite it. Every. Single. Day. Ok, so this is going to either be one of the strangest posts you have read from us, or one of the most enlightening. We still don’t have any idea, but boy did we have fun putting it together. Basically, we came up with a theory of how perceived value can eclipse the paranoia and creepiness of a new technology product. So, we think that the creepiness of a product affects the adoption rate by the consumer negatively, until the perceived value eclipses the creepiness and the paranoia of the consumer. Then adoption skyrockets. Or so we believe in our unscientific, Friday afternoon analysis. What?
Here’s the backstory: One afternoon an employee asked my biz dev director and myself about our Samsung smartwatches. As we discussed all the features it occurred to me that there are parts of this device when standing alone I hate. I despise. Add that to the fact that I am not very trusting of the big G when it comes to privacy, and it’s a little surprising that I have this device, running their operating system on my wrist. I mean, this thing can monitor my heart rate, track every single place I am at 100% of the time I am wearing it, which is almost 100% of the time, it records all the search requests, text messages to my team and to my wife, my alerts from Slack and just about everything else. It knows what podcasts I listen to etc. This thing knows me as well as my wife! And this type of data sharing scares the bejeezers out of me. So why the heck was I wearing this Borg like device (it is quite a bit more fashionable than the other Borg like devices – the bluetooth headset)? There is something about the creepiness of a given product that keeps us from using it UNTIL the utility and value forces us to ignore the paranoia. Basically, this hook is shiny enough that this fish is more than happy to bite it. Every. Single. Day.
So it got us thinking. There is something about the creepiness of a given product that keeps us from using it UNTIL the utility and value of the product in our lives forces us to ignore the paranoia, or that simply diminishes it, and to purchase and start using the product. In my case, I took our company off of gmail and I use a second tier search engine to keep my data segregated (at least I think so). So why in the world am I loving my smart watch? I love the features and the convenience. The perceived value pushed my paranoia aside, or just forced me to ignore it and the creepiness, while still there and a legitimate concern, isn’t enough any longer to keep me from using the product. They got me, and I’m bitin’ on the hook with a smile! As I was walking along in life, treating privacy as a sacred thing, until “ooh, that looks awesome. I don’t care what data it collects or what I have to share, that looks cool – I’ll take two!” My wife will love one!”
I actually think there is something to this, and more than just an entertaining end of week “team meeting”.