The wave of interaction design is covering the whole industrial world. The movement has started from several sources.

  • Trend-setter: Apple's tyrannical but extremely sophisticated design strategy is opening the corporate executives' eyes: Design makes money. The unfortunate consequence is, the same lame executives have thought they are Steve Jobs in their respective field, and started designing on their own (that is why we see lots of shiny but useless smartphones).
  • Price wars: Lower price has to be taken out of the market strategies for most companies, thanks to China. Where is our competitive edge? Customer satisfaction! How do we satisfy our customers? By designing user interaction! After decades of make-whatever-and-sell marketing model, we are finally facing the simple truth: make something customers want.

Okay, I could think of only two.

What I want to say is that billiard chalk is made into cube while the tip of the cue is round, probably for ever. So it is amazing to see that the wave of optimization, the desperate attempt to squeeze 'competitive edge' out of every mundane aspect of a product, hasn't reached the billiard industry yet. Probably never?

Clearly not many people play billiard these days — long gone the days of The Color of Money — and the industry is obviously doing not much to revive its golden days. But it is also not ditching its style, which has worked for decades or even centuries. We play pool the way we used to for generations.

Not long into the future, the billiard industry might die, but I guess they will do it with dignity.