What My New Apple Watch Made Me Think About Standards Groups

apple_watchI love a new toy. That’s why I was so excited to get my Apple Watch last week. And as I hit the oneweek mark, a few lessons have struck me:

Experience starts at the beginning. Apple is known for its packaging, and this exemplified why. Opening the watch felt like an event.  And, more critically, it was thought through. Every box had an “easy open” tab clearly marked.  By comparison, I spent five minutes with a scissors trying to open the box for another device I bought last week.

In action, the up side.  I just had a threehour board meeting and loved being able to see what the different buzzes were that were coming in without checking my phone. 

In action, the down side.  I just had a three-hour board meeting and was even more prone to distraction than usual by being able to see what the different buzzes were that were coming in without checking my phone.

The standards side.  Open standards are such an important thing for innovation. But I will say, the closed architecture that Apple operates in make things “just work.” It’s what standards groups need to strive for—driving interoperability that’s equal to the experience of a closed architecture. It can be done, no doubt, it just takes some real attention.

What’s next?  The watch leaves me more convinced than ever that the next set of standards we need to focus on will be around powering our devices. I love the watch, but didn’t need another charger. Who will make them all go away?

Want to make sure your standards-setting organization is driving interoperability and functioning at peak efficiency? An association management company like Virtual can help.

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Andy Freed
CEO, Virtual, Inc.

Greg Kohn
Executive Vice President, Strategy, Virtual, Inc.

Terry Lowney
Chief Operating Officer, Virtual, Inc.

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