Skiing versus Snowboarding
During my travels I usually find some interesting inspiration and have some time to think about it. Last week I was enjoying some hills and heaps of snow. I noticed and interesting comparison between skiing and snowboarding:
1. Skiing tries to create a high tech image. If you look at the designs and colors of the skis they look high tech, the bindings look like advanced pieces of technology and the prints on the skis use a lot of numbers and terminology like: titanium powered. Skiers also like to talk numbers, how fast they went or how much distance the covered. Skis are clearly designed to trigger the right half of the brain.
2. Snowboarding tries to create an emotional state of being. The board designs are very free form, often colorful and the binding are just some metal and a bunch of straps. It's all easy going expressed by terminology like: infinite ride. Boarder don't mention numbers, but more their style: You saw the air I was making?
If you go a little further in the comparison you can almost say they hate each others guts. Boarders to the skiers: stay out of our half pipe and away from our fun park, while the skiers will say get out of our fast lane.
The truth is that both sports are very high tech and both can address the right emotions. It's just that they both target different users and thus can also successfully exist next to each other. We see this all the time, as I wrote in Why are we all feature crazy and forgetting the user? for instance:
1. The Google Nexus One feature rich versus the emotional Apple iPhone
2. Microsoft the skiers and Apple the boarders. Both are high tech with Microsoft bragging about it a bit more and Apple playing the emotion a bit better.
Are you a skier or boarder?