I hate to break it to you guys, but while we can all have blogs, and post on Facebook and Twitter and forums and message boards, and even give CEO of multi-billion dollar companies an ear-bashing, the tech industry is not a democracy.
I know, it sucks. I wish that Microsoft would make IE9 available to XP users (if only to shut up XP users), I would love it if Apple would chuck away the entire iTunes codebase and start from scratch, I wish games were more compelling and original, I wish that 3G was cheaper and was everywhere, I wish that AMD had kept the ATI branding forever, I wish that software was more reliable, needed fewer updates and cheaper, I wish Twitter wouldn't fall over daily, I wish Facebook would die ...
... the list goes on and on and on and on ...
Yeah, all that stuff would be cool, but as soon as I got it, my old list of demands would instantly be replaced with a new set of demands. It's human nature.
While I would love the world to be the way I want it, it's not going to happen. The reason is that just because you have a voice, it doesn't mean you have a vote i what's going on at a company. If you want that you'd better have deep pockets because you'll need to buy the company, or at least a decent bundle of shares.
Let's look at an example - Windows XP and IE9. What the folks complaining about XP ad IE9 being incompatible are overlooking is that they might have bought their initial XP license nearly a decade ago, paying a few bucks for it. Oh, and IE9 is free ...
... Helllllooooooooooo ... just what do you think you're owed? Just how long do you think that a company should support an old product for?
What about iTunes? Why doesn't Apple improve the software? Surely it's in its best interests to make the best possible software, right?
As far as the masses go, iTunes is iTunes. It does what they want it to do. I know it's junk, and my colleagues Jason Perlow and Ed Bott know it's junk, but the masses don't care because they don't really know that it's junk, and even when told it's junk, most don't care. They aren't paid to care. Like good consumers they put up and shut up. As long as iDiots keep throwing their money at Apple, Apple will continue to crap more crap into iTunes while simultaneously reinforcing the idea that there's nothing wrong with the software by wasting time changing the icon and making a big deal of it during the keynote speech.
I could go on and on, listing one example after another, but I won't.
Don't get me wrong, people can encourage big companies to make changes, but these examples are the exception rather than the rule.
Companies know that they can't please everyone out there, so they've long given up. And anyway, it's good enough to just giving the vague image that they're trying to please people anyway. It works just as well and it's cheaper. Don't believe me? Just look at all the "we've been listening" rhetoric that pours out of companies before the launch of a product and compare that to the "out customers are happy" rhetoric that is fired back towards any complaints after launch. Tech products have a short enough lifespan to make a profit as it is without a company hobbling its own products. Even if the product sucks, there might be enough people out there who doesn't think like that, or maybe don't know yet ...
So if it's not about democracy, what's it about?
Bottom line, if you want to influence a company and maybe encourage them to try harder to please you, give your money to its competitor.