Saturday, September 8, 2012

Explain that to me? (or: I like to poke at things!)

Preamble: We recently relocated to Israel. After 10 years in Boston.Big change. More later, perhaps, when the dust had settled.
One of the first things we did is connect ourselves to the internet. I know, Web = Oxygen for some people (me). I know what you think. First on the iPhones, then home.
My darling, dead Linksys router

Of course, one of the things I hauled with me was an excellent Linksys router. I plugged it in, then power. I noticed it's supply took it 110v, so I attached a converter. In the plug, a short hiss, leds turned on for a fraction, turned off, and the horribly, hated smell of fried electronics. Hip hip hurray. (Office Depot win 100 shekel: Amir 0).

Which brings me to the point (finally eh?): In 2012, why 110v vs. 220v? Increased market size for device diversity? creating more jobs? What's the point?
It seems like some things in the world are like they are and will stay like that simply by avoid cost of what makes sense.
There are no additional OEMs because there are different standards, the same OEMs install different power units. There are no customer facing features or benefits to the customer because of that. On the contrary: If you move between regions, as far as electrical devices go, you are forced to buy the device that will comply to your target region pretty much. And you will pay more for the same value.

I want to poke at that. I want someone to explain the logic to me.

Here's another one. In Israel, many consumer products and services are small, not the best quality. Why? IMO, it has to do with buying power. It's the cost of importing cars, computers etc. into a 5-million people island (I'm using the word 'island' because economically, Israel is on an island. No economical cooperation with neighboring countries.). Toyota can't bring here & sell (in a reasonable price) their Camrys and jeeps because it's too expensive for them, because we look nothing like EU, Canada or the US. No buying power. Ok, Israel can't build economical relations with Syria and Lebanon (and I'm not interested in any political discussion), but what about Egypt and Jordan? What if all 3 became a multiple of consumer power? What would strong economical relations do to political relations? Economical relations would strengthen the political ones. So I say, fix this, for the benefit of everyone in the region, the OEMs and service providers. Let the region flourish.

Here's a bigger topic: driving on the left or on the right. In past jobs I was fortunate to travel. Yes I'm an addict. Sometimes I was on a red eye to London, and I had to rent a car. Imagine flying from a left-handed steering into a right-handed steering on a red eye. My solution was to always drive behind someone. But I was on a 747, I was not alone. I don't know the numbers, but I argue there is human price for this idiotic fact.

And don't tell me it can't be done. Man landed on the moon, Google are inventing self-driving cars. It can be done, and it's the right thing.

Side note: if you work with me, you'll find that I rarely 'accept' challenges at face value without really understanding them. I'm passionate about driving differentiated value to the customer, so spend the time and convince me the existing approach is the right one. Otherwise, help me change it ;)

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