The Rich — Poor Vs. the Poor — Rich.

I’ve had my Nokia 6233 phone for about 6 months now. Recently I’ve been wanting to buy an iPOD, but couldn’t really justify the extra gadget just for heading to work and back. Anyway, in conversation with someone at work, they mentioned they’d been using their Nokia phone as a music player. I should point out that we all have the same model of phone here, they get upgraded with our laptops every two year, so there is some excuse (it’s not like I reviewed the feature set it just landed on me), but it struck me that after 6 months there was a whole set of features in the phone I’d never explored, even when the phone could address a need I had.Sitting down with another person with the same phone today, I was telling them how excited I was about this (I bought a 2Gb micro SD card and now have some 20 cds worth of music or more loaded up). Sure it’s not quite the iPOD experience, but it’s a big step up from where I was at. They didn’t know how to do it, and pulled out their phone only to find they’d configured theirs using yet another set of options I didn’t know about.It got me thinking about how yet again, tools and software are so feature rich that it’s just difficult for one person to know how to use all aspects of it. I once heard a quote something along the lines that each person only uses 10% of the features available to them in Microsoft Word or Excel. The problem is that everyone uses a different 10%.What this leads to is tools which do many things — they are feature rich, but they don’t do all of them well — leading to them being both feature rich and poor at the same time. I call them the Rich — Poor.The Nokia is a perfect example of this — I really love having my music on the go with me, but for listening to music, an iPOD, with its navigation features built into the device is vastly superior. With the Nokia, I get 150 tracks in sequential or random order. I can build play lists, but I have to do them manually on my PC first and can’t just choose to listen to “jazz” or a specific album on the go.Another story I was reminded about was the Firefly. This is a great example of a Poor — Rich product. What’s fascinating about this is that the product designed for 8–12 year olds became popular with senior citizens in the US, because of it’s limited (and therefore easy to understand and access) feature set. Catching on to this trend the Jitterbug quickly followed. A simple set of features, but a depth and richness in the market because it does them well and htis one need in a clear, specific way.In the software world, we also see this becoming clearer with the move to services and WEB 2.0.  Instead of Rich — Poor applications, we are now getting Poor — Rich services, services that a feature poor in terms of the diversity within the one application, but rich because of the complexity and ability that the service provides.Of course it’s no suprise this trend has already started, but the next two years is going to be a facsinating time as instead of Rich — Poor apps, we get a true diversity on the Internet with Poor — Rich apps to meet every niche popping up faster and faster as services become more prolific and the tools to plug them together move to new levels of maturity.