Perfect imperfection

There are lots of things wrong with the Kindle. But I love it. How can that be? How can it be that I’ve spent a hundred quid on a piece of kit that doesn’t work 100% as I want it to, but I still think it’s brilliant?

Well it does what I mostly want it to do. It presents me with a million books at my fingertips. It lets my computer-weary eyes rest on delicious matt print which honestly looks as good as a book. I can turn pages with one finger and no lengthy tome can defeat my single hand. It’s great and I take it everywhere.

It’s a bummer that you can’t quickly jump between chapters. Its a pain that sometimes it forgets what page you’re on and you have to scroll for ages. It doesn’t deal with symbols very well and some of the free books have been formatted by volunteers so they don’t read all that well. Apparently you can listen to music while you read, but I’ve not worked out how yet and it did some funny things to me when I was browsing Amazon in Ireland. Browsing the bookstore unless you know the name of the book or author is fairly tough full stop.

But I still love it. And I never thought I would. The idea of giving up on paper and print was abhorrent – until someone mentioned the number of books I could have on it. And how many were free. And how I could have a book within 30 seconds and be reading it. At that point it was all over – I was in lust and the honeymoon period seems to be lasting.

But more than this, I love the way they deal with their imperfections.

In the manual they have a whole section on things that are included on your Kindle which are still in development. It asks for my comments, suggestions and feedback. It actually makes me feel part of something that’s growing and improving. I feel that as a reader, I have ownership of the direction that this wonderful little device is taking. I feel part of a community and will take the time to show other commuters (who always ask me how the screen looks and how I’m finding it) and tell them honestly how much I love it. I’m a zealot of an imperfectly wonderful bit of kit.

And I guess that’s the point of this ramble. If you want your service or product to be what your users want it to be, just be honest about what you have, and get down on your knees and beg for their feedback and ideas. Make it their product not yours. Keep it moving and improving and keep your ears open and mouth shut.

That’s my new role in a nutshell. I’m here to ensure that Glide develops the platform in the direction that our community of users wants and needs, making it the best PR tool available on the market. Simple? You tell me!


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