We’ve seen a lot of concept videos on this blog (including ones I’ve posted) but it’s nice to put some of it in perspective. John Gruber is usually a pretty big Apple avocate, so I tend to take a lot of his proclaimations with a grain of salt, but his thoughts on the types of companies that make concept videos seem pretty spot on:
I’m not arguing that making concept videos directly leads to a lack of traction in the current market. I’m arguing that making concept videos is a sign of a company that has a lack of institutional focus on the present and near-present. Can you imagine a sports team in the midst of a present-day losing season that makes a video imagining a future championship 10 years out?
The designs in these concept videos are free from real-world constraints — technical, logical, fiscal. Dealing with constraints is what real design is all about. Institutional attention on the present day — on getting innovative industry-leading products out the door and creating consumer demand for them — requires relentless company-wide focus.
It’s especially interesting when we note that a lot of the companies we see making the videos posted are not recently innovation leaders in their fields (e.g. Nokia, Microsoft with respect to UX, Google in the hardware space). Are these concept videos marketing stunts with no real innovation practices to back them up?