• Michael Weeding

The Expert

A common complaint from random people when they find out you about what I do for a living is how bad market leading companies are in designing digital experiences. It happened to me again when waiting for a coffee at a local coffee shop on the weekend so I decided to take a different approach in my response other than smiling and moving on.

As I waited for my coffee the barista asked me what I did for a living, “I lead digital teams”, his reply “so what does that mean”, the easiest response, “building Apps, websites etc.” and hope that short reply will close down the conversation. Without a pause for him to at least think about his response, or even get on with making the coffee I so desperately need out it came,

“Apple really pisses me off, every time they release something new like an operating system upgrade there is always something that goes wrong, you would think they could at least employ people that could get it right”

I smile, it is about this time I say nothing and wait for my coffee but today is different, I decide to keep this conversation going so I ask him “what problem he is experiencing”.

“I have not upgraded yet, but hear that it a really bad experience”.

Time to go a bit deeper, “So what has gone wrong in the past for you?”

“I cannot remember but there is always something and why will this be any different, you would think that a company this big and with that much money would have people who know what they are doing”

“That is some good advice you should pass onto Tim Cook” I reply and then decide to change the topic of conversation, “So what brand of coffee machine are you using there?” He answered but I did not hear what he had to say, I was already thinking about what I was going to say next.

“That is a crap machine so I am expecting that the coffee I will get off you will be really bad”, he looks at me curiously. I go onto say that “I think that the people who make this machine are idiots.”

“Do you know a lot about coffee?” he asks

“I know a lot, I drink coffee every day, sometimes twice a day, but do I know anything about the complexity of what makes a coffee machine work, or the skill needed by you to make a good coffee, absolutely not. If I consume then why can I not judge.”

He tells me that it not usually the machine but in most cases the barista making the coffee, so I reply by saying “then if this is a bad coffee then you must be the problem.”

The conversation stops, my coffee is now made and to ensure that any future coffees are not laced with poison I tell him just before leaving that I really appreciate his skill, I understand that making a good coffee is not easy and sometimes things do not always work as they should, he could get distracted and make the milk too hot, or put in more sugar than one teaspoon.

Despite this I trust him and have confidence in his skill despite the things that go wrong and look forward to visiting his shop again soon for another cup of coffee. I promise that I will not judge in on the last cup of coffee he has made but the overall experience from visiting his shop every weekend for many years.

My final comment.

“Maybe you should have the same level of trust in the idiots making your iPhone’s operating system”


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