Evan Feldman continues with his explanation of how the Tablet PC design evolved.
For a new product–like the Tablet PC–in a relatively unknown market, with potentially unknown users, over-thinking and designing in too many features in anticipation of a market is a sure-fire way to create too expensive and complex of a product–which to make matters worse can’t be rapidly tuned later.
What I find so fascinating about markets and new products–and what Evan lightly touches upon–is the value of the early adopters. What would Tablet exposure and viability be like today without the “non-goal” customers who created TabletPCBuzz, TabletQuestions or TabletPC2. Take away the non-corporate Tablet blogs (are there any corporate ones?). Take away the early adopters that gravitated to the product because of its “promise” but have stuck with it because of its value. Where would the Tablet PC be then? Would the corridor warrior market be enough to keep the OEMs satisfied? What would the press be saying?
So has the Tablet PC hit a sweet spot? If user enthusiasm is any indication, the answer is “almost.” And others are taking notice. So many people were rightly skeptical from the beginning. But the buzz is not just PR hot air, its users taking notes, filling out forms, reading webpages, passing photos around on the Tablet, drawing, sketching, and most importantly developing new apps for the Tablet PC.