from LA Times 5/10/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 10/13
Ask Joshua Reeves about his online Zen Payroll service, and the last thing he’ll want to discuss are its features, algorithms, software code & all that other industry jargon that usually comes pouring out of the mouths of Silicon Valley engineers. No, what Reeves really cares about is what he hopes you will feel when you use it – Delight !!! “That’s the effect we’re trying to achieve,” said Reeves, whose company has applied to trademark “Delightful Payroll.” “We talk about how to create that ‘aha moment’ – that feeling the first time you use it where you just stop and say, ‘This is amazing. Why weren’t you here 10 years ago?'”
What is Delight? A feely, subjective, hard-to-pin-down term. So daringly un-quantifiable, so proudly im-measurable. And now, suddenly, all the rage in data-driven Silicon Valley. Like so many other things in Silicon Valley, the word is a legacy of Steve Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder who often spoke of wanting to “surprise & delight” people.
Examples: 1) Now, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wants to “put our users first & make their daily routines truly delightful.” 2) Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and mobile payment service Square Inc., wants his companies’ products to “delight the world.” 3) Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom suggests, “If you delight people even a little bit with a simple solution, it turns out it goes very far.” 4) In a recent blog post, Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston explained that his company acquired hot start-up Mailbox, an email organizer, because it was “simple, delightful and beautifully engineered.”
It’s not just Silicon Valley that is drowning in delight.
In the surest sign that delight may be on the cusp of morphing from insurgent idea to over-used buzzword, Microsoft Corp. in Washington and Dell Inc. in Texas have embraced it. It’s the corporate equivalent of parents joining Facebook, making it instantly “uncool”.
“In all our work with partners and on our own devices, we will focus relentlessly on delivering delightful, seamless experiences across hardware, software & services,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in the company’s annual shareholder letter.
A Silicon Valley strategy? On the surface, delight seems so goofily (is that a word?) Californian, a spacey, new-age notion, that it practically begs to be mocked. Hold the egg rolls, however, because underneath its trendiness & the suspicion that it’s just some new marketing babble, the talk of delight signals a radical shift in the way Silicon Valley creates products. Someone invoking the principles of delight is saying that when thinking about making a product, what should come first is not the technology, but the people it is intended to serve.
[ Disciples of Delight, Steve Jobs, His Legacy, After his Era, Intuit in Premium Content ]