Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HTC Bets On Design

Interesting piece of news this week - HTC bought One and Co, a San Francisco-based design company. The iPhone has changed the game, and the cell phone has evolved to where features no longer differentiate. HTC, traditionally a very engineering-driven company. In fact, they have traditonally been a white-label design and manufacturing company for the OEMs - you wouldn't even see their logo on the phone. They sensed that they had a weakness, and didn't have the design culture to compete against Apple, so they bought a consumer-design company. This is one more datapoint showing that the technology industry is getting serious about design as a differentiator. I think it will help HTC leapfrog from supplier to a leading contender in the next couple of years.

One other tidbit in the article I found personally interesting - HTC is hoping that insights and ideas from other non-competing One and Co projects will make their way into HTC designs. For instance, One and Co's work with K2 may lead to new materials for HTC phones. I'm glad that they think that way, and I hope that thinking becomes pervasive in software. I always thought that this was a core strength of Macadamian - the lessons, insights, and ideas we gain in one vertical are applied to another, creating new opportunities, or simply better ways of doing things.

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