Damn! Why did I never notice the Apple Mac adapter and 3 lessons I learnt

It took a flight to a location 8,553 miles away for this to really click. Why do the short Apple Mac have power cords have this clunky box by the plug making it impossible to use in limited space socket outlets? Sure, their are alternative chargers with a more regular plug but why did the US get this default format?

Apple ornamental design for a power adapter

With out doubt there is a lot of research done already, that validates the approach taken including but not limited to the socket outlet in the US, but that is not what this post is about but more about the 3 things that struck me.

My 3 Lessons

Ask more questions — You need to ask more questions and have a critical view all the time. Living in the US and having never really been out of battery juice when I needed to work due to the inability to plug my charger into a socket outlet, it never bothered me. But the moment it was a challenge, it immediately struck me that why is this different?

We all need to have this “WHY” mindset everyday as we develop and design solutions and as we go about our day, because it will only make us smarter.

Design, Design, Design — So big deal, Apple has a clunky box at the end of its charger — but it is well designed. Here is a brief description on its site.

Designed to be the perfect traveling companion, the adapter has a clever design that allows the DC cable to be wound neatly around itself for easy cable storage.

The details of the power adapter is a good indication why the company is a great design company first and foremost. Here is a great piece on the secret of Apple design culture

Take away, if you have to change convention, offer amazing features, benefits and design. Great design will allow you to reinvent and try new things.

The World is the same, yet very different — My power charging issue was a problem because I was on a Japanese airline, had it been an American airline, I would not be writing this. Hence while we are closer through communication technologies, various markets still have their own preferences. Understanding various perspectives and views are vital as we build products and solutions for a global audience. The experience of various cultures, countries, perspectives and opinion is truly a priceless one.