There’s one little thing that the big tech companies don’t understand when they launch new products every five seconds like they’re doing at the CES. They don’t understand that every time they do that, they’re scaring some people back into the dark ages.
Sure, there are a lot of geeks in the world who love all the launches, but there are a lot more people in the world who aren’t geeks. I’m not sure the big players know what to do with these people. Don’t they realise that the more products they put out, the more brain-frying research people have to do to figure out what’s right for them? Probably not, because the people churning out the stuff are the uber-geeks, and they can’t imagine anyone not being excited by yet another device to choose from.
Apple have perhaps grasped the right idea by keeping their product range reasonably small and simple. One of the reasons they have got such brand loyalty is that if you’re sworn on Apple for life, then you’ve got a fighting chance of keeping track of their simple array of offerings.
But if you’re a regular not-particularly-geeky Joe starting fresh, looking at every brand on the market, and/or don’t have the budget for Apple stuff, then boy could you use a helping hand in trying to avoid a disastrous purchase. It’s remarkable that until now there has been no tech personal shopper in the UK to offer just that service. But now Witney-based startup My Gadget Hound is testing the market.
“Confused tech shoppers have had only three options until now,” says My Gadget Hound founder Richard Asher. “Googling up all the research, begging a kindly relative or friend for help, or asking sales assistants at a shop.”
“The problem is that Googling yourself into an overnight gadget geek is time-consuming and, for many people, massively boring. Moreover the market moves so fast that any knowledge you acquire is useless in a few weeks, so you can’t use it next time around.
“Asking friends and family can work, but the problem is they’re doing you a favour. That means they get to it when they get to it. And you can’t tell them to hurry the hell up or to do a better job.
“As for talking to a sales assistant, they are simply not impartial because they have a conflict of interest. They can only sell their own limited stock and want as much money from you as possible.”
And that’s why Richard decided there might just be a gap in the market for a personal shopper – someone to cut through all the crap for you and make a sensible reccommendation for your needs.
And how will My Gadget Hound know your needs, we hear you ask? It’s not an app. It’s not a website form. It’s….wait for it….an actual conversation. Old-school, but it makes a lot of sense.
“It’s hard to Google stuff when you don’t even know the terminology you’re meant to be Googling,” says Richard. “And not even Google can spit out results for Mrs Nora Winterbottom, 65, Oxford, without some kind of intelligent input. Particularly if she doesn’t even own a PC yet!
“We take care of that input by having a jargon-free discussion with the customer, listening to their usage habits or hopes, pet hates, must-haves and budget. We believe no two people or families will have exactly the same requirements. So it starts with listening…the human touch: it’s a dying art and we believe it still has a place!”
My Gadget Hound can help with computers, phones, cameras, tablets and plenty more. And if you don’t even know which of the above you need – not an easy call these days – then all the more reason to give them a call. They charge a flat service fee quoted pre-shopping, so you know you’re not getting steered towards something more expensive than you need.
This service has been a long time coming, and we’re interested to see how it develops. Go Gadget Hound!
To contact My Gadget Hound and check prices, phone 01993 700 454. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mygadgethound.com.