I bought a Creative Nomad Muvo MP3 Player a little while back. I love this thing; it’s exactly what I wanted.
Before buying that, I tried a Lexar MPC-231 JumpGear, which is basically a cap for a USB memory stick that turns it into an MP3 player. I wasn’t happy with it; there wasn’t enough control, the screen was too small, it just didn’t feel right. This was generally my opinion of the stick type MP3 players, although my brother has the same Lexar and is happy with it.
So along comes Apple. They have a player with less features, less control, no screen. This would be absolutely un-sellable for Creative. A non-starter for any other brand. Sell less for a higher price? No way.
But apple has the intelligence to understand with such limited storage space fancy controls don’t make sense, the guts to embrace that, and the marketing genius to take a lack of features and turn it into a positive. The Shuffle. It’s freakin’ genius.
I’ve worked with and ran into quite a few marketing people in my time. They spend most of their time explaining that their sales people are idiots, the customers are idiots, or both. Apparently they got it backwards. I’m convinced there are 4 people who actually can do marketing, and they all work at Apple.