You may have heard recently that Apple released its iPhone 5. Maybe you missed it, but that is doubtful, so I am not in any way going to talk about what is different or what is better about this version, this is not a tech blog. Instead, I want to focus on how quickly Apple makes the phone of the future irrelevant. They do it with all of their products, and it is an amazing strategy.
Just three weeks ago, many of us with the 4s were looking at it and thinking, “wow, this phone is pretty amazing.” At least that is what I think from time to time. And then along comes the iPhone 5 or the new iPad with its fancy new bells and whistles, and I think, “man, this 4s phone is crap, and so is this iPad 2 that I write these blogs with. I need that new retinal display, because without it my life just will not be complete,” and then I get sucked into the newest and greatest trap. So to be cutting edge, I rush out and I buy the new device, and I love it. For a few months, maybe a year and then, WHAM, they do it again, and now once again I am struggling to be cutting edge.
Do you remember that dinosaur relic known as iPhone 4? It blew us all away when it was released three years ago or so, and now it is free with a new contract. But you probably will not be buying it will you? Yup, because you are caught up in the hype. We all are. This is however a cautionary tale for those of us in HR and talent management.
We tend to get so caught up in the next great fad and the next superstar on the horizon, that we ignore the fundamentals. We ignore the people that are still relevant and capable, or we ignore the operational systems that have gotten us this far, for the newest and hippest fad.
We need to be cautious. Do not get caught up in the hype and forget your satisfaction with what you have already. Sometimes it is better if we pass on getting that newest upgrade.