Yesterday, as I was leaving for the airport, I opted out of checking in on my flight from my computer, which I usually do, to check in on my phone, all so that I can get the Passbook version of my ticket!
I probably didn’t use Passbook for the first year or even two since it came out. It sounded stupid, and I didn’t look much into it. The first time I used it was for an Apple event, where this was pretty much the only option for tickets:
I loved the animation, and the aspect of keeping my ticket stub, but didn’t think much more about it. Since then, whenever an event or airline email had an “Add to Passbook” option and I happened to have the email open on my iPhone, I would just click the button and get the Passbook ticket – why not?!
Pretty soon, as I saw the “Add to Passbook” option in an event email on my computer gmail, I would go out of my way to mark that email as unread, and specifically open the email on my iPhone just so I can have the Passbook option.
Recently, I’ve found myself pretty annoyed and even angry when an event email does NOT have the “Add to Passbook” option at all or it’s hard to find.
Passbook is a product I didn’t know (and even didn’t think) I needed, but once I tried it, it became the norm for me, so much so, that I get upset when it’s not an option!
There are very few products out there like that. Uber is another one – I was in Wilmington, Delaware a few weeks ago, and can’t even describe the powerlessness I felt having to rely on calling a taxi company for a cab, not knowing when (or if) they’ll show up and then having the driver be pretty upset when I didn’t have $80 in cash and had to pay via credit card.
Another product I’m now constantly using is Secret – it makes me feel connected to others around me on a very human level. If you told me about Secret, I would have thought “not another social network!”, but now I check it at least once a day.
These are the product that truly inspire me.
As a product creator, I have a lot to learn. I’ll know I’m successful when I too can create something that others don’t know they need, but once it’s there, they can’t imagine not having it.
What products do you not really need but can’t live without?