It just works: iCloud

I'm a fan of the philosophy they take from a product development standpoint.  iCloud highlights that point. 

Apple iCloud was recently announced and the first little piece of functionality has rolled out.  The AppStore sync has now showed up on my iPhone and my wife's iPad.  Since we share the same login, all the apps I buy and the books she downloads all just automatically show up on each other's device.  As Steve Jobs said in his WWDC announcement, "It just works".   

With MobileMe, this wouldn't have just worked.  Before iCloud, we were always moving little things around between "the home computer" to get it to each device. We had to consciously deal with this. Which meant the app I was looking for was hardly ever on both devices. 


When the Apple Product Managers got around a table this time, they could have thought "Let's make our service more simple like Drop Box".  This would have been better than before.  You pick the things you want to sync, and they automatically sync.  No, they took it further.  They thought "Instead of making it 1-click to sync, let's make it NO CLICKS".  Automatic.  It just works.  You do nothing.  

The idea of going further and taking all the hard things off the plate gets big wins.  Not just making them more simple, but making them a non-issue all together.  This is where Apple shines.  They shine when they take it off the table completely.   

I've found the same in the last couple of years with the products we've worked on.  We shine when we take the complex things off the table completely.   For us it was "Let's not make ad optimization more simple with some nice shiny controls for the user, let's just make it automatic with no controls."  ROI is way up.  For packaging, we were in market talking about the nitty-gritty details of channel based advertising.  We packaged everything together and stopped talking about channels period.  We focused on what was really important to our customers instead of talking about what everyone else traditionally talked about.  Sales are way up.  

Sometimes, it isn't about making things more simple.  It is about removing them from consciousness.  Apple got this with iCloud.