John Gruber:

I’m not arguing that making concept videos directly leads to a lack of traction in the current market. I’m arguing that making concept videos is a sign of a company that has a lack of institutional focus on the present and near-present.

The two big companies producing ‘Future Concept Videos’ right now are Microsoft and RIM — both companies have failed to create new innovative products in the last few years and are, arguably, suffering because of it.

Microsoft is too big, unfocused, and lacking in leadership to put on a new pair of pants. RIM has seemingly just stuck their heads in the sand and are hoping for the best — at least at the C level positions.

I personally have no problem with these types of concept videos, because I see them very much in the same light as I see concept cars. The idea is that you push forward some radical things to get people talking about it and then you use these ideas as guidance moving forward. That works well for companies that execute on these plans, like Aston Martin or BMW. Both having pushed out radical concept cars that then ended up seeing the light of day a couple of years later with only minor changes. ((The Aston Martin Rapide for example.))

Here, with Microsoft and RIM, they are fully admitting this is fantasy, instead of admitting this is a direction they are pursuing. That’s the problem I have with these videos: fantasy.

Fantasy is fine in the movies, but for a company you need to have goals. What goal does Microsoft have for the Kinect?

Posted by Ben Brooks