“Kevin Lee calls it ‘Steve Jobs Syndrome.’ As the former head of product strategy and user experience design at Samsung Design America, Lee watched as the $100 billion Korean tech giant wrote check after check to countless Western design firms to develop future products for the Korean company,” Mark Wilson reports for Fast Company. “The designers would dig in their heels, refusing to budge on their grand idea or see how it might fit into Samsung’s vast production line. And Samsung management would either discard the idea entirely, or water it down so much that the product became another meaningless SKU in the hundreds of products Samsung sells today.”
“During his 18-month tenure with the company, Samsung failed to launch the next big thing. It wasn’t a lack of good ideas, or Samsung’s stinginess in hiring good designers, he argues,” Wilson reports. “It was a combination of problems — cultural, managerial, and structural — that prevented concepts from making it to market as real Samsung products. Most of all, though, he blames the Western designer’s mentality—the Silicon Valley archetype of stubborn genius that today’s innovators hold so dear. He blames Steve Jobs Syndrome.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The chaebol makes vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, and backhoes. Forget blaming Steve Jobs, Samsung fatally lacks focus. And the sharpness of focus required to beat Apple at the game they perfected doesn’t exist. Regardless of the number or size of the checks they write, some unfocused, bureaucratic Korean vacuum cleaner/backhoe company isn’t going to out-work and out-design Jony Ive, Marc Newson and the rest of Apple’s design team in phones, wearables, and computers.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ottawa Mark” for the heads up.]