Monday, March 18, 2013

Waiting for the Future-Apps with long lines


The promise of that one app that will change the way you do things has always been just beyond the horizon.  Some promise to make your music streamlined and give you new and exciting artists to fall in love with. Others claim to finally let you find that inexpensive, delicious, never crowded, and unpretentious restaurant that you can hang out in like people on sitcoms.  Some of these dreams have come true, and some have failed. But now rises a new dawn in the app that you always wanted. Now, the newest hottest app has the wait time, meaning that you have to wait in front of other people (in the virtual world), to download before you can have it for yourself. And to add insult to injury, the wait time is in the ballpark of a Lord of the Rings extended editions marathon.

The innovator in this field of making people salivate for a dinging noise on their IPhones is the new Mailbox app. This promises to make the messy, uncoordinated email on your phone to streamline it like you never could before. Now most people’s phones just give them their email in large chunks and you have to sort it out. But they promise that they will let you organize and coordinate your emails sent and received like you never could before.  They actually have a ticker that says that your are number 300,000, or some other high hundred thousand number and that you’ll just have to wait until they can get to you. In a world where everything is faster than a finger snap that sounds a little insane.

But in fact, this has got many buzzing about how awesome is this app?  If there’s a wait time then there must be something to it that makes it something beyond the instantaneous enjoyment of fruit ninja. Now whether that is true or not doesn’t really even matter. It’s just the idea that something like that is out there is enticement enough. Which is kind of silly when you think about it. But the lemming mentality is difficult escape when it involves being able to show your friends that you got this cool new thing you have that they didn’t have the patience/didn’t know existed.

If it wasn’t for this need to be first even if it means sucking away time from your own life Apple may not be the world dominator that they are. After all if you didn’t see lines around the block for the new IPhone would it have been as popular? We’ll never probably know, because the product turned out to be so good that it overruled the mystique caused by the long lines. And that maybe where this new app and apps in the future will have to measure themselves against. Because if the product is crap it’s not going to matter, because then wait time changes from an intriguing byproduct of a good product, to marketing fakery. And people can forgive much, but making them think you were cool when your actually not,well that’s just unforgivable.