Xiaomi is looking to go public and is pumping its cred. Unfortunately for them, they’ve stolen and copied the most profitable electronics they could. Case-in-point, they stole air purifier design elements from a Japanese firm (Xiaomi on the right):
And just about everything Apple Inc. makes, Xiaomi on the left:
Now they have run out of ideas to steal. The problem is that they need to build up their product pipeline with kit which does not run afoul of IP laws. This is especially difficult for a firm which has perfected the ‘Copy-to-China’, or ‘rob them blind’, business model. Let’s just say that Xiaomi spends more time ‘researching’ the competition and ‘designing’ more ways to steal from them, than they do innovating.
With that background, Xiaomi is desperate to stay in the news. Unfortunately, the world can only tout pink phones and Apple similes for so long until the mainstream press also gets bored with them. Ergo, Xiaomi is now serving them bottom of the barrel ‘innovations’, as only they can.
Enter the Xiaomi Powerstrip!
(Pic from wsj.com)
Sure the strip is a decent idea; add USB charging ports to minimize one more thing to carry. This ‘invention’ is not a world-beater, however. Or is it?
Let’s see what Lei Jun has to say about this innovation (from wsj.com herehttp://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-CJB-26387)
He starts off with an overstatement of dramatic proportions:
“This may look simple, but it was really hard to design. The components were custom-made so we could make the device smaller.”
Ummm… ok, according to the ‘design guru’ Lei Jun, a small device is hard to design? Excuse me, but first off, that power strip is not small and secondly wtf is difficult about adding a few inches onto an existing power block?
Now the master strategist sheds light onto Xiaomi’s innovation gene by sharing this:
“After you take apart and look at the insides of all these other power strips, doesn’t ours look like art?”
Well no, a jumble of cords is not art, unless of course you are talking about Alienware innards. But if course we are not, we’re talking about Xiaomi. And if the design elements are so spectacular, then why not do something really creative like showing them to us?
And how about this:
“We spent so much time thinking about how many USB ports to include. We finally decided the right number was three.”
Wow! Thanks for sharing that stroke of genius!
No explanation, just an off-hand comment that after careful deliberation, three was the magic number. Bravo, Xiaomi, bravo.
But the intrepid ‘Jobs junior’ does not stop there. He continues by saying he and his would knock those well known global power strip players from their lofty perches:
“I believe Xiaomi’s power strip will make the entire country’s power strip industry follow us.”
Well there you have it, words to live by from Xiaomi. In sum:
Point first- it is hard as hell to innovate instead of pilfering and copying ideas
Point second- hide a bunch of stuff behind sterile-industrial looking plastic molding and claim it’s beautiful
Point fourth-trying to cram so many wires into a little space is a pain in the ass
Point last- be as general as hell and hope nobody pokes holes in the flaws plaguing your logic