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« The persistence of really bad ideas | Main | Today's whiteboard session »

More on bad ideas

I've gotten a ton of mails about my bad ideas post.

The bad news is that almost every letter writer misses my point. They want to have an argument about whether pull downs for states is a good idea.

Let's say that there were no pull downs for states. And then let's say someone invented it. Would everyone immediately adopt it because it's so much better? Of course not. The reason it's being defended is because of the status quo.

To save myself some typing, here are the reasons, if you insist, on why pull downs for states are silly:

1. No, you can't just type the first letter of the state, at least not in Firefox on the Mac. And hey, a state is just two letters, so who exactly is being helped here?

2. If you really want to use computer power to help me, have me type in my zip code. Then the computer should look up the city AND the state and save me 10 or fifteen letters!

3. the pull down, even if it's better, which it's not, causes me to switch from one mode (type and tab) to another mode (arrows and mouse.) All for two letters.

4. there is no #4.

5. The biggest reason of all: half or more of all shoppping carts online are abandoned. If this happened at the supermarket, they'd be bankrupt in less than a week. This is a crisis for anyone who sells online (except for Amazon, which doesn't have this problem--because people don't have to see any of this nonsense.) instead of Dilbertly defending the engineering status quo, teams should be working around the clock to test every single thing they can to fix the problem.

Thanks.

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Seth's Blog: More on bad ideas: ...half or more of all shoppping carts online are abandoned. If this happened at the supermarket, they'd be bankrupt in less than a week. This is a crisis for anyone who sells online... [Read More]

» More on Seth Godin's bad ideas from Niall Cook's Marketing Technology Blog
Let's get back to Seth's original point of principle and consider why - in the corporate environment - you don't get in trouble for embracing (or perpetuating) the status quo. This surely is the key to solving all the bad ideas in the world, not debati... [Read More]

» Ideas from VmBloG
But I remember the first time I signed up for something on the web, ages ago, I had to fill in things like race and gender. Race's very presence was offensive and the drop down list for gender had only male and female in it. [Read More]

» Seth's Blog: More on bad ideas from My Weblog
Link: Seth's Blog: More on bad ideas. Most simple ideas are good. It is too bad your simple idea here can not be read by many, many programmers. I have been bothered by having to use that form to put [Read More]

« The persistence of really bad ideas | Main | Today's whiteboard session »