Monday, August 03, 2015

The Year of Waiting. A Glimpse of the Future?

This year has been, oddly, a year of waiting. There have been products and services that require me to wait, which is the antithesis of web economy. If you pay for something today, you expect to receive it within a reasonable amount of time, right?

Last year, +Karma WiFi announced that they would be launching their new WiFi hotspot that would run on LTE. I was excited about this because I like the idea of prepaid data subscriptions that do not expire. Pay-as-you-go data has long been lacking. Currently, I am using +Truphone to pay for my data as I go; but, that is another story. So, I ordered my Karma hotspot last year with the understanding that it would be ready by the end of the year. Then it would be ready by April. Then it would be ready by summer. And, here I am in August waiting for my order still. I ordered mine in October, which is what is being shipped out now. So, hopefully in the next few days.

I think what makes things more difficult is that I have pre-bought data which I cannot use until the hotspot arrives. The price was too good to pass up. We do not know yet how pleased we would be with the product.

After the Karma, I thought that I would take up the purchase of the Amazon Echo. I could see how my family would make use of this glorified Bluetooth speaker. Of course, that would take months to ship out as well. Amazon actually delivered ahead of schedule. We are pleased with the purchase.

Lomography recently launched the Petzval 85 lens. I was seriously tempted to order one if not for the price, which was discounted, but still above my budget. I would have had to wait for that order too. Fortunately, I did not. I think I would have been happy to get the Petzval if I had the budget.

I have, recently, pre-ordered +The Grid, which promises to be a self-building website service that eliminates the whole pain in the rear design problems I typically suffer with websites. The Grid was supposed to launch in the Spring; but they too have gone way past their projected time. I'm excited by what they promise; but, have to wait until their abilities catch up with their optimism.

I have typically not been an "early adopter" of new products. I've never had the money to buy the crazy prices of new products. I typically buy in after the crazy has settled down, thus prices have settled down. Today's market pushes transparency and lean production with MVP (minimum viable products). I don't know that I like this new market. I think I'd rather wait until the product is finished and ready to ship rather than be strung along for months.

When I purchase something, I have a specific need in mind. These overly optimistic product launch dates cause me to put off my plans. So, it's not just having the product that gets delayed, it's having the uses I have for them that get delayed too.

Mobile data costs more because I've been waiting for Karma.
My kids kept asking me questions they could have asked the Amazon Echo.
The Grid is costing me business opportunities that I may have pursued. As it is, I don't know if the product is worth reselling or not because I can't even test it.

I am happy to see products that meet my needs spring up with more frequency. However, I am not liking the concept of pre-ordering with months of lead time. Amazon under promised and over delivered with a quicker delivery. Karma and The Grid have over promised and under delivered. This saddens me because they seem like great products; but, they have already started off poorly.

I understand their desire to make sure that everything is done correctly and to high standards. But, they really should have factored that into their offer and chosen a much further date. I'm not an Apple product fan; but, I respect that when they take pre orders, they deliver. Other industries also deliver on time with pre-orders. I would expect that the tech industry would be better at delivering with all their technological advantages.

Despite all this, I'm not about to cancel. These products fill a need, which I hope they can fill. I would not have begrudgingly waited this long otherwise.
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