Procurator producto, primo, nihil noce (Product Manager: First do no harm)
I have a Toyota Prius from 2016. This weekend, Toyota pushed a mandatory update to the car’s Entune media and navigation system that disabled the Alexa capability offered in the last mandatory update. It was a poor implementation but I got a kick out of it.
A search for answers led to an entire message board dedicated to Entune. Alas, most of the posts were unhelpful. “Don’t ever use the Entune app. Ever.” “Buy a new car.” “Just use CarPlay” (which of course I don’t have and therefore cannot use).
I’m not quite ready to buy a new Prius simply to get Apple’s CarPlay — although I am now unlikely to buy a car without it. I have learned that hardware people write terrible software.
Have cars really become computers on wheels? Must I upgrade every two years to get the new “operating system”?
But here’s the thing: There was nothing wrong with my audio system. My old software was working as documented. I wasn’t asking for additional functionality or complaining about the system. My car didn’t change.
Why push a new release that breaks something that was working? Don’t break it; just stop supporting older versions and platforms.
Could it really be that Toyota wants me to buy a new car so desperately that they pushed a “fix” to disable its capabilities?
As a product manager, yes, you should be upgrading software over time. And you’re certainly welcome to discontinue support for older systems. But don’t intentionally break something that doesn’t need to be fixed.