Joel Spolsky keynote at EclipseCon 2006

Joel Spolsky is rambling along (it seems) about Blue chip products. Really he is a good presenter and likes to throw his audience (us EclipseCon geeks) off track to wake us up. BTW, Joel is the author of Joel on Software and The Best Software Writing I.

What are blue chip products? Apple’s iPod. Brad Pitt. Herman Miller Aeron.

What’s not? Creative NOMAD Jukebox Zen Extra. Ian Somerhalder. Random office chairs.

I think I’ve heard this before, but its nice to hear it live and in person.

The Formula for Blue Chip products:

  • Make people Happy.
  • He wrote a simulation of logging onto Windows which is hilarious. Gotta love nerd humor.

    Learned Helplessness – loss of control (through software?) causes people to give up and then further bad things in their lives.

  • Think about Emotions
  • People buy SUVs not for logic, but because they make them feel in control.

  • Obsess over Aesthetics
  • iPod has a seamless product, looks beautiful. “The NOMAD comes in ugly.”

    Joel is using old iPod photos. Showing mini – they’re discontinued. Most of what he is saying still applies to the nanos and video iPods.

    Joel recounts his early days where he did consulting to get Fogcreek off the ground and he had rescued a doomed dot-com from some big consulting firm. But when they showed it to the client, they didn’t think it was “slick enough”. So they worked with a graphic designer to make it look nicer.

    Now he compares “beautiful” vs “honest”. Architects supposedly have gone away to honest after beautiful now, but we aren’t there yet with software. I think we’re not even to the state of beautiful yet. Developers should probably work with graphic designers early.

All this points to using a Mac. Seems to me that Joel should use one. :)