What is here today might not be there tomorrow

Checks and balances on new products

Yesterday, the Jibo robot shut down permanently. It was marketed as a social robot, I never owned one, but it kind of looked like a more engaging version of Alexa.

It reminded me of my Pebble watch and Electric Objects digital art display which are also defunct products (but still in some working order).

Now all of these products have one thing in common and I can live without them. It makes me wary though for products which are essential. My Nest thermostat comes to mind. I know it is owned by Google, but I also know that does not mean anything. Google can still decide to get out the smart home business. Google discontinues products all the time.

It happens with software all the time. I loved Mailbox and then it got bought by Dropbox and then Dropbox dropped it. Again, it was not essential, but it also shows that big corporations change their mind on their priorities all the time.

It is all about trust and investment (time or money). I notice that I started to do a mental check and balances on those things when I am evaluating new products or services. How hard is it move away from this product? How much trust do I have they will continue investing in this product? Will it be around in X years?

Even large corporations with big flagship products can let their products go stale. I have tried using Keynote by Apple, but it crashes on me all the time and I am now staying away. I will not touch their other office products either. It even makes me wary of their other products. That is just a simple example.

Trust and commitment are important. Sometimes it cannot be guaranteed. Either company is young and still need to prove itself or it is a large corporation with conflicting priorities. As technology products become more integral to our life’s, it is good to remind yourself that they might go away.

At some point, you might find that you cannot enter your house because the smart lock company has gone out of business.

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