Have you ever noticed that trying to be the first to market with something always ends badly? Sharing an idea for a product can kill you, even when all you did to share it was actually release it. The iPod was not the first to market, but it crushed the Rio that was. I could give a million more examples, but todays is the Chromecast.
When this device came out I was SO excited to get my hands on it. I media player for $35 that could play all the content I wanted from all the services I use AND it connected to my phone and computer? How great is this! Just find the movie I am looking for on my phone and with a simple click, I am watching it on the TV. I thought it was revolutionary. Once I got it, I realized that it was not as great as I had hoped. Not having access to a remote was a HUGE downfall. Using the actual Chromecast feature (where your web browser window took over the TV) was not a very fluid experience. The games you could get where buggy at best. It was pretty much a let down. I used it fine for a while, but I kept wanting to go back to my Roku, because I really missed that remote, and worse my babysitters missed the remote. My TV system had become so complicated and hard to use that I was having a hard time getting babysitter to want to come over (seriously). I had to do something. Then Amazon came out with the FireTV Stick, a device for $40 that had the same promise as the Chromecast, only it had a remote? Ok, I am already sold,e let me see it.
When I got it home, it was everything I had wanted, a real remote, easy interface, slim profile for the TV, and did I mention it had a REMOTE! I can not overstate how important that remote thing was.
You might be thinking a remote is not that big a deal, you are the only one who uses your system so you don’t care how complex the system is, that is fine, I thought that once, then I was watching a movie when my wife called, on my cellphone, that is the remote, and I had no way to pause it and talk at the same time and it required me to answer, put her on hold, switch to the netflix app, hope it did not disconnect when I get the call, pause it, wait for the pause command to connect, then switch back to the call. With the FireTV Stick, I just pickup the remote and hit pause. Super simple.
Sometimes new technology comes out, and it seems like it is just a step forward for an old product, looking back you realize that it was a whole new thing.Chromecast was a good concept, but when it came right down to it, trying to be overly innovative and disregard the way people intuitively interact with TV’s was a bad idea.