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Technical specifications



In the world of computing and technical gadgets there are and probably always will be opposing groups of people cheering for “their” platform, software etc. This can often be observed on topics such as “Linux vs. Windows vs. Macintosh” or “PlayStation vs. Xbox” to just name a few. The most prominent and recent quarrel that fits into this pattern is probably “iOS vs. Android”. Especially this one reminds me very much about a quarrel that took place at the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s of the last century: VHS vs Betamax.

This is actually a long story to be told completely and it involves other formats as well, but the main protoganists where aforemorentioned two formats. In short, there was the Betamax format whose technical details where superior to VHS. The cassette was more compact in its dimensions and the picture quality was better due to slightly higher resolution and less appearing noise. The VHS format lost in those aspects, but it was overally cheeper and had longer recording times. 2 things that were quite important for many customers. So it happened that VHS, despite of being introduced about one year later than its rival, took over the market and won the fight.

I am telling this story because I’m thinking there are similarities with the situation nowadays which I’d like to point out: It is not always about the raw technical specifications when it comes to creating something successful. A wide adoption is more likely when fitting the actual needs of the customer. The majority of people don’t care about Gigahertz, Petaflops and Microcode. They care about things most relevant for them such as easy accessability, pricing or simply just what their friends and family are using.

So we should always keep in mind what our goals are and tailor our products to the needs of those who are meant to be the people using it. Our dear customers.

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