Posted May 11, 2015on:
From the perspective of systemic change, it is important to distinguish between evolutionary and revolutionary change.
This video of elders reacting to the Apple Watch illustrates that.
Some people would have you believe that the Watch is revolutionary. It is not.
The Apple Watch helps you do what you can already do with app-enabled iPhones in a smaller form factor. Some of the things are more convenient (e.g., fitness tracking) while others less so (e.g., texting).
The Apple Watch is not fully independent; it needs to work with a recent iPhone. It is the very early stage of what is to come, much like Google’s unfairly maligned Glass.
Watch and Glass are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They have not changed how we behave or what we can do by a quantum leap.
The video of the elders reacting brings up another important point: How far an evolutionary product gets (and if it gets a chance to be revolutionary) depends on the attitude of its users.
One elder put it wisely at the end:
Old people get older when they stop accepting the changes that are happening and stop expecting new change to come around.
The statement does not only apply to “old people” but to anyone with a closed mindset.
The A-B-Cs of change are awareness, buy-in, and commitment/control (ownership). It is one thing to be aware of the Apple Watch, it is another to believe that it is worth your time. Buying the product also means adopting Apple’s processes as your own.
Apple has shown that is can do this successfully with some of its product lines. It does this by manipulating the three broad strategies of personal relevance, emotional ties, and shared interests.
I have read of people who were initially non-committed or skeptical about the Watch and were sold on getting one after a hands-on demonstration. One or more apps create strong relevance to the user. The minimalist look and human-centric design might stir excitement, desire, or joy. The desire to be in a relatively exclusive club drives ownership and interest.
Slowly but surely, companies like Apple and Google bring about change. What do schools do about the A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s of change?