With cunning and insight, Bill Buxton writes about how everyone is clamoring to design touch interfaces into products without understanding the usability issues that result. He discusses “four watches in [his] collection,” hinting at the treasure trove of usables and unusables he curates. The watches are a starting point for his main criticism:
There is a serious lesson here for those would-be innovators who, on seeing the great success of one company’s use of some technology or another, scramble to adopt it in the hope that it will bring them a share of that wealth as well. Such behavior is more appropriate for lemmings than innovators.
Rather than marveling at what someone else is delivering today, and then trying to copy it, the true innovators are the ones who understand the [long nose of innovation], and who know how to prospect below the surface for the insights and understanding that will enable them to leap ahead of the competition, rather than follow them. God is in the details, and the details are sitting there, waiting to be picked up by anyone who has the wit to look for them.
Sounds right to me.
(via Touch Usability)