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Quality is local optimization, Market Fit is global optimization. As the saying goes, if you're not embarrassed by v1 you waited too long to launch.

But consider results in consumer technology: Palm versus Blackberry versus iPhone.

Did you use the first iPhone? It had a ton of gaps, even in the market at the time. I believe they would have hamstrung it if not addressed in subsequent versions.

I personally have never viewed iPhone as an example of perfectionism in product delivery. To me it's a whole bunch of solid execution over a very long time scale, before and after introduction.

Consumers and the press were much more forgiving of the iPhone's shortcomings than they were with anybody else. The 2007 iPhone was 2G only (when 3G on Nokia, Samsung, and Blackberry phones was standard), and it constantly dropped calls on AT&T in the US. Steve Jobs was in full reality distortion mode thanks to several successful iPod/Mac releases, and people loved the showmanship. Loyalty to Apple wasn't purely about the quality of the product.

The Blackberry Storm was released in 2008 to compete with the iPhone and was completely trashed by critics, despite doing the basics extremely well (call reliability, high quality capacitive touchscreen). I had one at the time and apart from the fact that BBOS 6 wasn't 100% touch-optimized, it was very usable. Unfortunately its app store was lacking, whereas the iOS app store had plenty of flashy, gimmicky apps that better served as a showcase for the iPhone's capabilities (gyroscope, motion sensor, etc) rather than useful functionality.

The polish was in the fluidity of the interface. To make touch easy the interface couldn’t jump around just as you touched the screen.

Its not that the iPhone was fast - but when it couldn’t render it showed a square pattern and still scrolled roughly in tune with your finger. None of the other players thought that was important.

Wow, that took me back...I remember the little mosaic graphic to display parts of the web page that the browser hadn't loaded. Feels like a lifetime ago, but it makes sense to have that little bit of UX improvement, since back then all we had were full-fat desktop websites.

What's to consider? Palm never had the mass market engine behind it that Apple had coming from Mac; Blackberry got lazy and sat on irs laurels; Apple was the first big company with a big budget to launch a full screen high-resolution capacitive touchscreen in USA.

Quality and polish do sell in long term while even brands fade away.

So how many mechanical watches do you folks recognize? ;)

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