What geeks and marketers can learn from the next 60 days

I woke up today to hear two NPR stories about the iPad.

Story 1 was a technology analyst blasting the device because it doesn’t have a camera and so, therefore, isn’t taking advantage of social media.

Story 2 was a publishing analyst describing the device as a savior of book publishing.

Of course, both of these analysts are right — and wrong.

The first analyst sees the iPad as a Swiss Army Knife that left off a cork screw and being a wine lover, he can’t understand why anyone would want a Swiss Army Knife without a cork screw.

The second analyst sees the iPad as a Kindle with color and video that will enable publishers to have an alternative to the pricing on Amazon — which publishers hate.

Like I said, both are right — and wrong.

Over the next 60 days, Apple will start bombarding the channels of traditional (old) media defining what one can do with the iPad. They will never mention features. Only what one can do.

The people who purchase the iPad will use it 90% of the time to do 4-5 things they’d rather do on the move than sitting at a computer.

The people who purchase the iPad will use it because they already own an iPhone and would like to watch movies or read books or tweak a presentation on a 9 1/2 inch screen rather than a micro-screen.

The people who purchase the iPad will use it because it will help them define themselves to those around them.

I could go on-and-on about the reasons people who purchase it will do so.

Watch. Learn.

It’s not about features something has or does not have.

And it’s not about what missing features prevent someone from doing.

It’s about what the existing features enable someone to do.

That’s all.

Bonus linkage: As I’ve said often, the only person worth reading on this topic is John Gruber. Again, his perspective is original and insightful.