“Uncontrollable innovation”

New York Times: Why Samsung Abandoned Its Galaxy Note 7 Flagship Phone. Like John Gruber, I am curious about the closing quote, from Park Chul-Wan, the former director of the Center for Advanced Batteries at the Korea Electronics Technology Institute:

“The Note 7 had more features and was more complex than any other phone manufactured. In a race to surpass iPhone, Samsung seems to have packed it with so much innovation it became uncontrollable.”

Uncontrollable innovation? That’s an interesting claim.

I think the thing that’s forgotten here, as in so much of the smartphone feature war, is that features aren’t useful if they can’t be used, or safely manufactured, or if they don’t meet a customer need.

It doesn’t sound to me like the problem was out of control innovation. It sounds to me like the problem was an engineering culture that created a product that was untestable, and a management culture that made it impossible to react rapidly to new developments in the marketplace.

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