Beware of Shiny New Object Syndrome


I want the Apple Watch. Like, really badly. It is THE shiny new object turning my head nowadays. But being the completely sane and logical woman that I am I just can’t bring myself to buy it. Why? Because I don’t have a good reason to. Here’s my sad reality:

Reasons to buy the Apple Watch

  • It’s pretty
  • It’s the newest technology in demand
  • It allows me to be even more connected to my digital life (because, you know, the sync Between my iPad, MacBook and iPhone is not enough…I could put one down and walk away for a moment and miss a notification that someone I know just joined Twitter!)
  • It’s a status icon (don’t deny it…it is)

Reasons not to buy the Apple Watch

  • It’s expensive
  • I leave my house like, twice a week (except to walk my dogs or engage in some manner of water sports, which happen to be accessible from my back yard)
  • I’m practically tethered to my home-office desk for 10 hours a day, after which point I migrate to my kitchen, couch or bed. And of course my phone and I pad come with me (sometimes my computer, too)
  • I never wear watches or any other wrist adornment (other than a hairband)
  • It’s a brand new product, apt to be wrought with bugs that Apple will need to work out over several iterations (remember the iPad 1? Of course you don’t…because it was a heavy slow moving monstrosity and even though it’s less than 5 years old it wouldn’t even be able to operate current OSX software)
  • I probably won’t utilize 50%+ of the features (not because I don’t want to but because the current apps and features are not things I use now so I’d have to learn to create a use for them)
  • Did I mention it’s expensive?

Basically, I don’t need it, and aside from the sheer rush of excitement that comes with getting new tech, it would add little-to-no value to my life given my current lifestyle. It doesn’t solve a problem that I have (need for digital connectivity whilst one the move), and frankly, I’d probably have to put effort into incorporating it into my life because I’m not in the habit of strapping anything to my extremities. 

I still really want it. But I won’t buy it because I’m a logical woman with the ability to control and overcome my shiny new object syndrome (though I secretly hope my hubby will buy it for me for an anniversary gift, and then I’ll lightly chastise him for spending so much money but he’ll know I don’t mean it).

So what does this have to do with marketing? 

We all do this in our professional lives. At least, us techy marketers do. We long for the latest and greatest technologies, and usually it’s not because they solve a problem we’ve been in dire need of a solution for. Often times we buy a technology and then search for a way to integrate it into our marketing plan, or into our technology stack. This is illogical human behavior, which is completely normal, but also could be causing you to waste time, money, and other valuable resources.

So, should you find yourself showing early signs of shiny new object syndrome, consider the following:

  • Does this solve a problem I currently have, or can reasonably anticipate having in the near future?
  • Do I have a strategy for integrating this is to my marketing plans or technology stack?
  • Will the benefit (financial, productivity, competitive advantages) outweigh the cost (aka ROI)?
  • Will I fully utilize this product, and am I willing to commit the resources (time, human & money) to do so?
  • Do I have the resources to commit to fully implement, utilize, and maintain this product?
  • Can I afford it?

If the answers to these questions are not ‘yes,’ I suggest you work on disengaging your brain from this obsession. Eat an entire bar of good dark chocolate. And if the serotonin and antioxidants don’t quite give you the rush of adrenaline you need that comes with spending money (I won’t judge you), buy an absurdly expensive bar of dark chocolate (charge it to the company and tell them you saved them money).

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