What do they hate?

A good product person looks for joy. A great product person looks for hate, because hate is the heat signature of pain.

What do they hate?
Photo by C D-X / Unsplash

It was slightly worse for wear, but I had already decided any new scars on the bat were honorific.  An object fulfilling its purpose wears gracefully.

I discharged the aluminum slugger back into its holding bin to serve its next client, then began to remove the protective gear they had us slip into before entering.

"You didn't really lose energy in there!"

Heavily tattooed and an 11 out of 10 extrovert, the staffer was different on the surface, but I sensed a kindred spirit.  These are my people.  "Thanks!  I ... was I supposed to?  Anyway, I had some things on my mind."  

For most, the rage room was a fun, offbeat diversion; for me, it was a spiritual-emotional oasis.  Part concert, part festival, all satisfying.

(That's okay ... right?)

Our True Colors

Tucked inside a 23 year-old recording of Steve Jobs introducing OS X is a moment I love.  Having already explained the vision, strategy, and architectural choices behind Apple's operating system leap, Jobs starts demoing, as he is want to do.

But the gem for me is right here (box added by me to show you where Steve's cursor is):

Steve: "And uh, windows don't even need to be the activated window to put them away.

These controls, I can roll over, and just (*click*) put these things away.

Right?  Very nice."

Before Steve finishes uttering 'away', a soft sound fades in, a mixture of marvel and joy gently whisked by a divine hand.  It builds, and then the audience, who up until now had been quiet, erupts into unprompted applause, whistles, and cheers.

Again, follow this: powerful features, left and right, new pixels, new UI components — a new paradigm — behold, so saith Steve!  

But then, the thing that gets them, that pushes them past the breaking point and releases a dam of energy, is the dismissal of an inactive window.


Love Follows Hate

Steve's click, and dare I share, the swings of my bat, eliminated something that had been bothering — nay, vexing — nay, tormenting, those users.

Recall, the number of times they had been in the middle of something, something good and valuable.  But then, there it was.  That damn application running in the background they had forgotten.  It was eating too much memory again, or it had just thrown that stupid -9 error — god what does that even mean?!  And so now it needed to be dismissed.  But then — oh how that old operating system forced them, like some kind of pinhead, to resurrect the zombie in full, just to tell it go away.  And how often that operation had crashed everything!

Can't fight the seether /
I can't see her till I'm foaming at the mouth

When Steve clicked, he wasn't "dismissing an inactive window."  To every person in that room, he was vanquishing the root of 1,000,000 moments of accretive pain 🐙 they felt every day.

They hated that thing.  And Steve had just terminated it with a nonchalant prejudice.  

The result:

I love this thing.

A good product person looks for joy.  A great product person looks for hate, because hate is the heat signature of pain.  

Sure, you know what they want.  And maybe they really like what you have today.  Enough to get you this far.  And that's good.

But to get to love —

Do you know what they hate?