Monday, December 3, 2012

Google's Chromebook development strategy erodes consumer confidence

Barry Schwartz outlines in his book, The Paradox of Choice, that consumers think more choices will lead to greater happiness when the exact opposite is true. There is, in fact, an inverse relationship between consumer choice and happiness. Why? Because the more choices we have, the greater likelihood we'll make the wrong choice.

If Mashable is correct, Google is set to release another Chromebook before the end of 2012. If the rumors are true, then this new model would make the fourth version of the Chromebook to arrive within a 12 months period of time. That's enough to make even a Chief Technology Officer's head spin. Not to mention all the people—like me—who have purchased a new [sic] Chromebook in the last few months.

One of the many hallmarks of Chrome OS championed by Google and its fans is simplicity. Apparently, that value isn't transfered to its product development strategy.

Now is NOT the optimal time to release a new version of the Chromebook. Here's why:

  1. People are already frustrated that Google has not been able to keep up with demand. 
  2. Those who purchased a Chromebook recently don't like feeling opening a new box with a new machine knowing it is already dated technology.
  3. It creates doubt and uncertainty among potential buyers which makes the Chromebook less appealing.
  4. It's almost Christmas. People are already making their purchases, so Google is likely to miss out on the holiday rush.
I hope this rumor isn't true. I love Google, but I feel like we're having to live through their awkward adolescence as Google moves from a software and search provider to a hardware vendor, too. 

Are you ready for another version of the Chromebook to appear?