Have you ever used a really good product and a few months later you see other people using it? Have you ever found it difficult to find a product in a store, and after a year, or so, it is sold in most stores? This is technology evolution.
Maps: the latest evolution
Google became the most dominant developer for maps. Their search facilities are now available in multiple formats (webpages, images, maps…).
Not so long ago Apple released their version of maps. Unfortunately, the content was not that well ironed out. Many users reported problems of missing streets and buildings, for example. It would be fair to say that their official launch was like a prototype — real users needed to use if, for real, then report problems with it. But why didn’t Apple release this product to a selective bunch of users to alert them of these problems before it affected millions and millions of people? Sometimes businesses don’t step back and look at the whole system. A mix of reductionism and holism, two types of information system design techniques to obtain successful projects, could have been applied here.
And now Nokia is launching Here Maps to continue the evolution of technology maps.
What way does technology move?
In short, one company moves first. If they are well run they will lead for a while (have patents to protect their innovation etc) then other companies follow with their version of that product. Technology moves in the same direction. Is this why products look similar?