Two years ago, I made the mistake of trying to convince my dad in buying a smartphone.
I told him I used it to check train schedules and used Google Maps to find my way trough town. He replyed he just prepared beforehand, printed train tables and a map of town and never got lost.
I told him I used it to read the news at news website. He replyed he prefered watching the news on television or read it in the newspapers.
I told him I used it to send and read emails. He replyed he prefered his Outlook Express on a large screen.
I told him I used it to keep in contact with friends and colleagues using Twitter and Hyves. He stared at me blank.
And he was completely right.
Why would he every by a smartphone when he was perfectly happy the way he worked now? What would be the efficiency increase for him?
It made me think of the one strategy to convince him in buying a smartphone: if I were a telco, I’d just give him one for free. For, let’s say 3 months. Just to make him get used to it. How easy it is to have all information everytime everywhere. And then, after three months, when he got used to it, charge him. He wouldn’t be able to say no to instant access to email, news sites and Google Maps anymore.
That’s also what my girlfriend taught me about technology. I was stupid enough to give her a HTC smartphone and she’s hooked for life. She will never be able to go back to her old LG phone.
Futurist speaker Mike Walsh reminded me of this idea when he said “Once you learn to do something new, you never turn back”, relating to the fact that kids who learned to use an iPad will never turn back to the sheer cruelty of a computer mouse.
People who ‘learned’ mobile internet, will never turn back. People who ‘learned’ smartphones, will never turn back. People who learned the ‘iPhone’, will never turn back. People who ‘learned’ the iPad, will never turn back. People who ‘learned’ mobile payments, will never turn back. That’s a lot of people who aren’t turning back anymore.
Once you learn to do something new, you never turn back.