Sunday, October 24, 2010

Products who do their research --- FTW


In the last few weeks, I've had some extraordinary experiences with new technology. One was purely awesome the rest have sucked the time and energy out of my life.

As most of you know I run a small business. Most days I carry my laptop to and from work with much that is wonderful and important in the world in the trunk of my car praying that nobody crashes into me or steals that laptop out of my trunk.

My goal, was to find a way that I could access all of my information from a single point and whether I am at the office or at my home access to the same files. I tried simply carrying an external hard drive for a while but found that Windows 7 and Windows Vista could not be used with the same hard drive. I've talked to technicians, I've talked to people at big box stores, and other good bit of online research only to come up somewhat empty-handed, at least for a reasonable price.

My first solution was to try the NASDuo. The salesman at Fry's talked me into this device which was supposed to be all-in-one remote access to my laptops and iPhone. I literally spent two weeks on the phone with the Philippines trying to set up both my local and remote access. I was upgraded to level II support, unfortunately this wasn't much help. After being told it would take 2 to 3 days to figure out what was going on I gave up and took the device back to Fry's.

I will now sing the praises of the Pogo plug. This nifty little device creates your own personal cloud-a way to access your information remotely from anywhere. Hallelujah! my two weeks of struggle were rewarded with 2 min. of setup. Yes, you read that correctly, minutes. I am shocked and amazed and filled with glee. Oh yes, and eternally grateful to the friend who suggested that I use this product in the first place.

The out of box experience was also quite extraordinary. It has a sleek and clean box with one tiny instruction manual approximately 4 x 4 inches. This manual directs you to a website where they walk you through the quick and easy setup complete with troubleshooting ideas and in no time you have access to your files. circumventing lengthy confusing printed materials and offering clean, interactive graphics was a great choice by the manufacturer.

It is difficult to believe that whoever created the NASDuo thought that anyone but a very technical person would be using their product. The interface and screens were clunky and ugly and asked for information that no average consumer would have any clue of how to find. Even their customer service guys had trouble locating information. In contrast, again, the Pogoplug is a very consumer friendly product with a clean and simple interface which obviously went through user testing prior to entering the marketplace.

Finally, the industrial design of the Pogoplug is strongly preferred, at least by me. It is consumer friendly white though admittedly the pink accents may not be as welcome for a manly man. But the NASDuo was an ugly black box designed for engineers.

At last, I can see my PowerPoint presentations from my iPhone I can share photos with family I can share documents with clients all from this personal cloud. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Pogoplug.

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