I was on my tablet last night gazing at the never-ending variety of amazing ideas on Pinterest when my browser died. This is happening regularly to me lately so I checked for an update online. I figured there would be a later version of the browser fixing this bug. Unfortunately not.
What I did find was updates of almost every other app on my tablet, from Angry Birds to Yelp to the nice little Food Network app I use to plan my dinners.
This makes me think that sometimes smaller, more nimble organizations react to consumer demand much more effectively than the larger, more unwieldy companies providing these technologies. By eliminating bureaucracy, long development projects and red tape, the makers of Angry Birds (Rovio/Chillingo) are able to meet my needs more quickly than my large-scale tablet maker, regardless of the obvious disparity between the two companies in number of developers or amount of budget.
Is it a matter of fewer customers = more attention to customer feedback? I don't think so. Everyone I know plays Angry Birds, and it's all too easy to blame the app when you just can't kill that last pig. I have no doubt the app maker is inundated with customer commentary.
I think it's the adoption of Agile development methodology. This is something we're doing within CA Technologies to remove roadblocks and accelerate software releases. With CA Agile planning functionality, developers can reside anywhere, but share a centralized "virtual wall" to manage tasks, collaborate and stay in sync. Managers get a comprehensive understanding of the state of product requirements, roadmap and the backlog in a single portal, and that reduces the time it takes to bring new features to market.
I need to convince my tablet maker to go Agile so I can get back to looking at Pinterest...