Intelligent, not independent

Team member to team lead. Product to consumer. Could there be a link between those two relationships? Could it be that how a culture defines the relationship between team lead and team member is similar or analogous to the relationship between the consumer (B2C) or the customer (B2B) on the one side and the product on the other? Between the consumer and the electronic device like a computer, tablet smartphone, or between the customer and a complex production system?

But analogous not in the sense that employees are tools, objects, inhuman – although certainly there are managers, organizations, companies who indeed treat their employees as means to an end. More in the sense that it is expected that the employee, the team member, get the job done, make work and life easier for management, for fellow employees, for internal or external customers.

In the American product philosophy, how intelligent should a product be: kitchen oven, washer, automobile, computers and their software, technologies which utilize forms of artificial intelligence? Intelligent in the sense of independent, of the user?

Just as the American team lead reserves the right to go from the strategic level down to the tactical in order to manage or even implement (player-coach), so too the American consumer (B2C) or customer (B2B) wants a product which can be managed, controlled, directed, steered, run.

See the print advertisements, including large banners for example in airports, stating „Company X runs SAP.“ Enterprise software, highly complex, but at the service, at the disposal, of the client.

Americans want intelligent products, yes, but not independent of purpose. And the user determines the purpose, not the product itself.