THE BLOG
04/24/2014 11:44 am ET Updated Jun 24, 2014

The Double Edged Sword That is The Casual User

Casual users are necessary breed of tech consumer. They are the dreamers of the end user crowd -- the "what if" types who think about putting wings on a car or solar cells on their laptops. Their collective tech knowledge is usually based on what they've read on CNET. But they are a double edged sword. They drive designers to make the winged cars and solar laptops, yet they also don't support the process innovation that comes with new designs. Essentially they don't care how it's done -- just do it.

So what's the problem with just wanting cool stuff? After all, money is money right? Whether a tech company sells a device to a scientist or to a college student, the sale still happens.

But there is an underlying issue with casuals. The same way that they don't care how it's made, they also don't care how you fix it. This means that they typically won't contribute to the effort to improve technology -- they just want it.

On the surface this means that tech companies don't get appreciated for the design and process effort that went into making a device a reality. But it also leaves the troubleshooting and advanced development to the serious users who have something to contribute. So would argue that there is an element of unfairness to this paradigm -- like the mechanic who takes the time and innovation to repair the rich guy's Ferrari, with little in terms of either appreciation or attention.

And maybe this is okay, or at least it seems okay.

To me, I feel like I'm indirectly "supporting" the casuals. My work to innovate a device gets lost in the casuals "whoa that's cool" mentality. It's Bond's Q watching as James wrecks his new Jaguar with the missile launchers on it. What a waste.

Sure casuals make up a large part of the tech customers. Maybe I'm just looking for a little appreciation for all the work that goes into making a tech device do what it does. The point is that technology devices are damn hard to make and develop.

The next timer a casual complains that his keyboard isn't responsive enough, lean over and ask him to fix it himself if he knows how -- and tell him "don't complain, just do it..."