This is a duhism if I’ve ever heard one: “I guess we should create a great product.” Duh! As opposed to a crappy one? The salient question, however, becomes, “What are the characteristics of a great product?” Here is the answer.
Deep. A great product is deep. It doesn’t run out of features and functionality after a few weeks of use. Its creators have anticipated what you’ll need once you come up to speed. As your demands get more sophisticated, you discover that you don’t need a different product.
Indulgent. A great product is a luxury. It makes you feel special when you buy it. It’s not the least common denominator, cheapest solution in sight. It’s not necessarily flashy in a Ferrari kind of way, but deep down inside you know you’ve rewarded yourself when you buy a great product.
Complete. A great product is more than a physical thing. Documentation counts. Customer service counts. Tech support counts. Consultants, OEMS, third-party developers, and VARS count. Blogs about it counts. A great product has a great total user experience—sometimes despite the company that produces it.
Elegant. A great product has an elegant user interface. Things work the way you’d think they would. A great product doesn’t fight you—it enhances you. (For all of Microsoft’s great success this is why it’s hard to name a Microsoft product that you’d call “great.”) I could make the point that if you want to see if a company’s products are elegant, you need only look at its chairman’s presentations.
Emotive. A great product incites you to action. It is so deep, indulgent, complete, and elegant that it compels you to tell other people about it. You’re not necessarily an employee or shareholder of the company that produces it. You’re bringing the good news to help others, not yourself.
Naturally, I have my own ideas about how well Accordance meets these criteria, but I'm curious to see what you, our users, think. Does Accordance meet each of Kawasaki's criteria for a great product, or are we falling short with respect to some of them?
On a side note, I loved Kawasaki's comment that "to see if a company’s products are elegant, you need only look at its chairman’s presentations." Have any of you seen Roy Brown demonstrate Accordance?