If you’re familiar with models such as Kano diagrams, which provide a more sophisticated approach to modelling products and requirements, you’ve probably also come across the notion of Quality Gravity.
It’s a simple concept: as time passes – and, typically, as technology advances and markets mature – what was once a disruptive innovation of astonishing richness and power quickly becomes the norm, so the perceived quality level of a given product or service falls. Today I saw a particularly vivid example of this.
In The Guardian there is a review of the new Google Pixel phone. They like it quite a lot, and said it was better than the current iPhone offering. But it still only got four stars. So a device (i.e., the new iPhone) that about five minutes ago would have been regarded as a masterpiece of modern technology and was being reviewed in a culture that stops little short of worshiping the latest consumer gadget, can’t quite achieve five stars.
Quality gravity strikes again.
Or, as the comedian Chris Addison once put it, we are so complacent about technology that what begins as a bona fide miracle quickly becomes a human right.