Ben Bajarin, writing for Techpinions:
As I listened to 14 different people tell me about their Apple Watch, I observed a pattern. Those whose job it was to think about the Apple Watch or who were early adopters who thought deeply about tech and the tech products they buy, were all much more critical of the watch. You could tell they evaluated it and thought about it deeply from every angle by their responses. Then I talked with teachers, firefighters, insurance agents, and those not in the tech industry and not hard-core techies. These groups of people couldn’t stop raving about the Apple Watch and how much they loved the product. It was almost as if the farther away people were from tech or the tech industry, the more they liked the Apple Watch.
So the further away you get from the people who are invested in a culture of providing some sort of smarmy opinion for everything technology-related, the higher the satisfaction ratings get? Fascinating.
Seriously, though, this doesn't surprise me at all. When you have a passion or expertise in something, it makes complete sense that you'd spend a serious amount of time thinking critically about it compared to other people. I have heard my friends who are trained singers or dancers criticize the performances of other singers or dancers, and I am just sitting next to them in awe of the spectacle I am seeing/hearing. I don't have the knowledge to have a strong take one way or another, it all just seems pretty damn good to me. Get me talking about video games or gadgets, however, that's a different story.
I would be significantly more worried if the majority of non-tech-enthusiast users were dissatisfied with their Apple Watch experience, but the fact that overall satisfaction is at 97% leads me to believe that Apple know what's what. They excel at making devices that are useful and delightful for people who otherwise aren't passionate about gadgets (seriously can't begin to tell you how many stories I have from when I worked at Apple, and talked to the self-proclaimed "computer illiterate" who raved and raved about how much they loved their device(s)). So I think that's the audience we should be paying significantly more attention to when we're looking for how well the folks in Cupertino are doing with their wearable. I'm sure that sentiment will piss off the nerds out there who think they're the center of the tech universe, but you can't please everyone.
Just think, if Apple listened to every texpert (tech-expert, not an expert in Texas, obviously) who has an opinion on what features an iPhone should have, we'd have phones that have a plethora of gimmicky garbage that only benefit a fraction of a percentage of all users, maybe a slide-out hardware keyboard, a chassis that's three times as thick (and heavy) to house the giant, 72-hour removable battery... You get the idea.
Long story short, if you want to get a good feeling about how something is doing, maybe it's not the best idea to rely solely on the people who consider themselves in-the-know. It's nice to get a change in perspective every once in awhile.