Steve Jobs and Edwin Land corroborated Don Norman's take on inventionand design

No one could guess what this thing could do. I've found a bit of supporting evidence for Don Norman's unique perspective on tech...

No one could guess what this thing could do.
I've found a bit of supporting evidence for Don Norman's unique perspective on technology and needs, in the form of what Steve Jobs once told John Scully about a visit by Jobs to Edwin Land, inventor of Polaroid instant photography.

Don Norman wrote an amazing article, Technology First, Needs Last, which I've written about before.  In it, he describes a true insight into the process of creative product development.  Basically, he argues that the technology to solve a problem must already exist before the problem can even be recognized.  It makes perfect sense.  Design problems are usually of the form "Aspect X of reality sucks; we shall address that suckage with a new design."  But notice: how can you identify the inadequacy of the current state if you don't already know that something better is possible?

This is the problem with expecting prospective users to have any idea what they really want - they don't know what's possible.

Norman's article has several excellent examples of how radical new designs were executed, based on recognizing in tandem a technology and some area where that technology could be applied to improve the current state of things.

I think I've found another case that fits perfectly.  Here is an article in the MIT Sloan Management Review from 2011.  In it, John Scully (who ran Apple in the 80's when Apple thought they could do without Steve Jobs), recounts a story of when Jobs met Edwin Land (inventor of Polaroid instant photography).  Here's the pertinent section.
"He [Jobs] said if I asked someone who had only used a personal calculator what a Macintosh should be like they couldn’t have told me. There was no way to do consumer research on it so I had to go and create it and then show it to people and say now what do you think?"

I should note that Jobs's quote was in response to a comment by Land to the same effect.  Notes Sculley, "Both of them had this ability to not invent products, but discover products."

That's it exactly, isn't it? Jobs knew what technology (the Macintosh) could do.  But no one else did.  They were entirely unsuited to even guess what it could/should/might do.  The magic wasn't just Jobs himself.  It was his insight, that it's in knowing what's possible (technology) that one can see how to make things better.

And that, it seems to me, is just what Don Norman was on about in his post.

COMMENTS

Name

academia activism adaptation admin aesthetics affect ageing AI analogy android anthropology anticipation app architecture art arts Asia assistive technology automobile balance biology biomimetics book branding building business CAD Canada care case cfp change revision children codesign cognition collaboration colonization commercialization commonplacing communication design competition complexity computation computer science computing concept map conference constructivism conversational analysis craft creative arts creativity CSCW culture cybernetics degrowth dementia design design thinking digital digital media digital reproduction digital scholarship disability dissertation drawing economics education effectiveness efficiency emotion engineering environment ergonomics ethics ethnography Evernote evolution exhibition exoskeleton experience experimental studies fail fashion featured film food function modeling futurism gender studies Germany globalization grantsmanship graphic design Greece HCI health heritage history housing human factors humanism identity image inclusivity industrial design informatics information innovation interaction interdisciplinarity interior design internet of things intervention iphone journal journalism language law library life life cycle lifehack logistics luxury making management manufacturing material culture materials mechanics media method migration mobile motion design movie new product development Nexus 6 olfaction online organization packaging paper participatory design PBL pengate performance PhD philosophy planning policy politics practice predatory preservation prison proceedings productivity project management public space publishing reading Remember The Milk reproduction research resource-limited design reuse review Samsung scholarship science science fiction semiotics senses service design simplicity society sociology software space strategic design student sustainability systems tactile tangibility technology textile theatre theory Toodledo Toronto tourism traffic transhumanism transnationalism transportation tv uncertainty universal design urban usa usability user experience visualization wearable well-being women workshop writing
false
ltr
item
The Trouble with Normal...: Steve Jobs and Edwin Land corroborated Don Norman's take on inventionand design
Steve Jobs and Edwin Land corroborated Don Norman's take on inventionand design
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Macintosh_classic.jpg
The Trouble with Normal...
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2015/02/steve-jobs-and-edwin-land-corroborated.html
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/
http://filsalustri.blogspot.com/2015/02/steve-jobs-and-edwin-land-corroborated.html
true
389378225362699292
UTF-8
Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS CONTENT IS PREMIUM Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy