I saw an article last week about some of the problems Google is having with their new hardware devices. Companies often underestimate the very real challenges that come with building great hardware. And those challenges only compound as smart, high-functioning personal devices become ubiquitous.
So much more is expected of constantly connected, smart devices as their utility and usefulness increase. And when the device — whose use is now a daily habit — fails or disappoints, we are not happy campers. Honestly, building great hardware rarely happens on the first try. It is the trial and error and cumulative intellectual property of multiple generations of devices over many years that lets the magic finally happen.
At Lifesize we’ve been building video communication devices since 2003, and there certainly have been some bumps along the way. But we continue to work at it — enhancing architectures and features, constantly learning from our journey. And, just like the outcome of any push to be the best, we are very good at it now. Over the past few years, we transformed our devices into best-in-class smart devices that, through a native integration with our cloud app, elevate the value we provide to our customers’ daily work, meeting the expectation for quality and reliability. We work our tails off every day to deliver that experience flawlessly.
Great hardware requires an obsession for our customers’ success. In knowing that, I found a quote published in the article from the head of the Google hardware division troubling, or at least short-sighted. He said, referring to the problems his customers were reporting “I believe, quite frankly, that Google has a spotlight on it. Things that would normally be pretty minor issues are a bit amplified in today’s environment.”
Exactly. These “minor issues” are not something you can be blasé about or shrug off. The experience is the thing — it defines engagement and stickiness, more so these days than the actual brand. If we don’t focus on solving and improving the customer experience quickly and thoughtfully, our customers will fire us immediately. And that is increasingly true for any company attempting hardware plays.
The moral of the story is that building great hardware devices is hard. At Lifesize, we will keep on building great devices that provide amazing value to our customers, each and every day.