Technology has been considered a boys' club. What's the reality of that statement in 2005?
Where it all starts is in the actual products. Until the manufacturers catch on to what woman want in technology products, retailers will always be at a disadvantage. It's when manufacturers like Apple catch on to the simplicity of the iPod that women get engaged in digital music, which was something that they weren't doing before. And it's not just because the iPod Mini is pink. It really is because it's easy. For my wedding, my husband got me a mini iPod and I thought it was the most romantic gift. He was able to get it engraved, and he loaded it with all my favorite songs. Those are things that got me early, because the product worked; because it was easy, and because it was craveable. At the end of the day, I think about universal remote controls. That is something that nobody has cracked yet. There's nothing that women want more than not having to see the wires and have one remote control. But no one has made a product good enough to make her happy. The retailer can only do its best to compensate for manufacturers who either don't think woman are important or, frankly, don't care.
I think that the store itself has its own problems, but the products are really going to drive 2005. Who is going to catch onto the analogy of the iPod? It's funny, because when you look at a Dyson vacuum cleaner, it's on everyone's Christmas list this year. It was always a big no-no to buy your wife a vacuum cleaner, but if you got her a Dyson, you're in good shape.