Trust me on this. Your business needs an iPad.
I know what you’re thinking. It goes something like this:
Why does this Apple fanboy think I need this thing? It’s just like a dinky little laptop with no keyboard. I can’t even plug my USB thumb drive into it. There’s no camera.
I hear you, but I ask that you think forward a bit. The iPad available today will seem like a lukewarm joke in 5 years. Your kids won’t even touch it.
If you wait 5 years until “the space is ready”, you’re gonna be 5 years behind – maybe more.
Maybe the winner in 5 years will be an Android-based GooglePad. Maybe it’ll be a Windows-based GatesPad. Maybe it’ll be one of the tablets from the folks at CES this summer. But…
IT. DOESNT. MATTER.
What matters is that you shift your thinking.
This stuff is going to impact your business and your life (and the lives of your clients) – and I can say that not knowing what you do for a living.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
First off, don’t worry about what it won’t do. Focus on what it *can* do for you instead.
There are at least five areas that need some strategic thought on your part:
- How your staff will use the iPad
- How your customers will use the iPad (and iPhone/iTouch)
- How a phone-enabled, GPS-enabled tablet (generally speaking) will change your work, your clients’ work, your clients’ personal lives and so on.
- How this “intelligent”, connected form factor will change how people consume information – which includes information that brings them to your business.
Note: The same things will apply to the HP Slate and other touch devices already in the pipeline.
Portable, connected – and finally, capable – touch-based interface devices are here to stay. You can either take advantage of them or watch someone else and then whine about the competition.
Answer this 27 part question
The iPad gives you a way to show your clients and prospects touch-navigable information that is *already available* but often poorly presented. That info is rarely displayed in context with anything else.
That’s gonna change.
Here’s an example:
“Show me a map with the locations of the three best italian restaurants on the way to the bed and breakfast we’re staying at tonight (it’s just outside Glacier Park). Include an overall rating from previous reviews, an option to read those reviews, directions to each restaurant, menu items with photos of the food, prices and eliminate the ones that don’t have a table for six at 7:00pm. Oh and a photo of the front of the place so we don’t drive past it.”
27 phone calls or visits to websites later, you *might* have a decent answer. That’s one of the simple, easy to understand examples. There are a TON more. If you’re a client, ask me how you can take advantage of it.
The difference with the pad isn’t just the always-on internet and the GPS/location-enabled functionality. Those are huge, sure.
What changes things is that you get a touch interface that a 5 year old can operate. Don’t discount the impact that has. Most people don’t truly understand it until they use it – I had the same gap in experience with the iPhone/iTouch, despite being a geeky, computer-toolhead kinda guy. This time, I know better.
I have so many ideas about this thing, my head is spinning (some might say it did that before the iPad).
If yours isn’t, think a little harder.