I noticed this article today, and it made me think.
"iPhone 7 rumoured to include a pressure-sensitive home button."
Now, this obviously might be bullshit, as is generally par for the course in the run up to any Apple release, but is this really all we've got? Is this the height of excitement, the next breakthrough development to justify us ditching the 'old' technology in our pockets for the newest shiniest model on the market? Even as a bullshit rumour it lacks excitement! Come on guys, where's your imagination!
Or is it just another example of how tinkering around the edges has become the new norm?
Consumers may be reaching this conclusion too if recent sales in the iPhone are anything to go by. They're fatigued by the tinkering.
Yes one could argue that it's more difficult than ever to excite audiences by new tech. There's so much of it that we've become desensitised to it. Like bombs going off, or Team GB getting cycling medals.
But there is also a truth in that there is a very clear tech equivalent to the economists favourite, the law of diminishing returns. There is only so much you can do to a technology before you start to see a fall-off in people's interest.
The graphics on the Commodore 64 were astounding to me.
The iPod touch was magic to me.
Spotify's ability to give me access to any song I want still stuns me.
The iPlayers ability to show me any Olympics event I want to see when I want it still amazes me.
These are disruptive, game-changing technology developments. They set a new precedent, they were and are - to lift from Arthur C Clarkes most oft-repeated lines - indistinguishable from magic.
But in a fast-consumerist world, the pressure is on to release products, quickly. To plan the obsolescence of x, and replace it with xS.
And it's often pointless. Mere tinkering.
Innovation devoid of problem solving. Short-termist, superficial tinkering designed to push new product rather than solve real challenges.
Even Ranieri stopped tinkering and look where it got him.
Problem solving should, in my humble opinion, solve problems.
Tinkering around the edges doesn't.
Which brings me to creative agency land.
We tinker. We scratch the surface.
We answer the brief, yes. But how often is the brief really solving a problem.
A proper problem, a big hairy one.
We need a concerted effort to do that more, to challenge the brief, to challenge the client, to challenge ourselves.
Because if we don't start to do that, the brands that we support will lose faith in us too, and our ability to really change their fortunes. They'll swap us in and out for the next shiny tinkerer, no one is building value for anyone, and we all lose out.
The successful agencies of the future (of which I'm happy to say, we are very much one) will be the ones that tinker less, and change more. Ones that build agile teams around real problems rather than finding solutions to fit the teams. Ones that will look to build lasting impact rather than short-term fame.
Ones that are little more like dear old Claudio...the new one, not the old one.