Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is Samsung developing phone in agile method?

I ended up watching about 25 minutes of Samsung Galaxy S4 launch event at NYC Radio City.  While I was watching, multiple thoughts ran through my head.  I wanted to share some of them.

  • The whole Broadway-style product feature overview done by actors felt like a really long commercial.  It was clear that Samsung wanted to something different.  I think they got something different.  But I don't think it resonated with audience as well.  Glitzy and somewhat entertaining because of overtly  promotional dialogues.
  • S4 had a lot of features.  I thought it already had lots of features to begin with.  I wonder if Samsung is tracking the feature usage to evolve or cut existing feature set while continuing to add new ones.
  • It felt the whole was not greater than the sum of its parts.  All features seem to be put together on single phone, but there weren't any overarching theme that unites everything under a single story.  It's a phone that does everything for everyone with many complex features.
  • It occurred to me that Samsung may be developing their hardware much like how software is developed.  With agile method where feature is developed in a short compressed timeframe and gets released to collect user feedback.  What I did not seeing was the signs of simplification based on the user feedback.
  • Because of complexity with all added features, S4 felt immature.  I'm sure some users will find them useful.  But it comes at the price of losing its simplicity.
Mature product should become simpler, easier and more obvious.  Samsung S4 team should keep this in mind.

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