No need to remember when, 'cause everything old is new again

I'm totally copying a bunch of other people who have already talked about this video. Watch it, and you'll see I'm in good company.

Put aside all your favoritism and brand loyalty for a moment, and think about the smartphone you have in your hands. If you've been around a while, compare it to the first smartphone you ever held in your hands. If not, look at the things other folks who have been spending too much money on gadgets has to say about their old smartphone. None of them are originals.

This particular video does great justice for the camp that says Apple copied everyone, but I promise you someone could make a very similar video for Android, or BlackBerry, or Windows. This is because everybody copies everybody else.

Lawyers get fat off the courtroom squabbles between tech giants, but when you get right down to it, a company that makes great products copying another company that makes great products is a good thing for the people buying all the great products. 

I want multitouch on my Android. People using an iPhone want a notification center. Everyone wants a thin phone with a bright screen. This ain't rocket science. Someone has to do it first, and that means someone else has to come along and remix it for themselves. Chances are, they remix it in a way that seems better for the folks used to their platform. Ask an iPhone user, and they'll likely tell you how much better notification center on iOS is than Android's notification shade. This isn't because they are sheep (or any other disparaging term you can come up with) but because it fits in a way they are used to. That's what good software architects and designers do — they remix things to work better in their system.

Now go back and watch the video again. Pay special attention around the 4-minute mark to see Phil, by the way. Hi, Phil! But while you're watching, remember that all this applies to whatever phone you're holding as well.


Reader comments

This post, like everything else, is a remix


It still baffles me just how difficult of a concept things like "tools" and "personal preference" are to understand to some people. I use what I use because it works the way I prefer. I use whatever OS or hardware I use because they're tools, and when you have a job that requires a specific set of tools, you pick the tools you need for the job.

There has never been, is not, and never will be, a be-all-end-all-do-everything device that works exactly the way everyone on the planet wants it to. Your tastes in form and function are different from mine. Your job is different from mine, and you use different tools than I do. You're entitled to your own opinion just as I am. Don't be a fanboy.

I'm not really sure what point the video was trying to make that any fair minded person has not known already. This was just a video version of the guy who posts "everybody copied from everybody, who cares." I would have enjoyed it more had it taken some of the concepts it was talking about to their actual origin, not just a quick glance at some dude on an original surface. Take us through the palm pre, the trio, or BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc.. I'm giving it a mehhh vote.