Take for example my decision to finally install Google Desktop.
Did I do it because I saw the benefits of all my data being indexed and so very searchable? Did I do it because maybe I wanted to use their cross-desktop file-sharing system (don't ask!)
I tend to be able to find files on my computer and when I can't Microsoft's default "Find" thingy does an adequate job.
Quite frankly, there are many files on my computer that I never, ever want entering any index ...ever. Just so we're clear absolutely never..ever.....absolutely never...ever...ok, I'll stop.
So why did I install it? Cricket.
The World Cup started yesterday and I wanted to install the Cricket Google Gadget.
So what did I learn from observing my own behavior (besides that fact that I'm weird)? That you never know what will make a consumer adopt a product, and so it's useful to try to develop an ecosystem around it. A class I'm taking this quarter emphasized this quite a bit and while I acknowledged it, recognizing how this behavior in yourself makes it so much more real. I realized that even at work before school, customers were buying and using our product for things we'd never really intended. If they weren't paying money for it, we'd definitely be pissed of.
My take on Google Desktop so far: eh...
It's a fantastic indexer and I'm amazed at some of the stuff it's thrown up, though it's a little scary how easily that's accessible/visible to others now. The indexing process itself though has been a little clunky and it has just murdered my CPU at random times.
But I love the UI and the gadgets/widgets. Us Windows (non-Vista) users just aren't used to the cool elegance and fading in and out of tools that Mac users take for granted, and so it was a nice addition to the user experience. The email and weather widgets are probably going to stay on my desktop for a while. The source of all this trouble, the Cricket Gadget, has actually been a little clunky, but still kinda cool...it doesn't get fired. I have a feeling I'm going to be disabling the basic "search" feature though, basically destroying the software's main feature and making it a UI engine.
I remember reading somewhere that Konfabulator were the guys we should be thanking for all of this. However, there are now tons of widget shops. They even get their own conferences.
Another 2 resolutions for Spring Break, that I will probably not keep: try Yahoo! Widgets and then try writing a widget of my own.