Our industry is fascinated by convergence. If a product is great, it could be even better if it would only do one more thing. A cell phone must keep your schedule, browse the web, take a picture, and capture a movie. And now it must also be your wallet.
One of the books that's had a lot of influence here at Softeq is "The Origin of Brands" by Al & Laura Ries. It describes the concept of divergence rather than convergence. It's a fast read and highly recommended.
We like the latest cell phone gadget as well as the next guy. But our bag still contains an iPod for music, a BlackBerry for email, a high-resolution digital camera, and a cell phone. Why? Because they all work better than the all-in-one version. It's the stereo component system versus the all-in-one radio.
For another example, read Om Malik's "Converge Sense" article on The Three-Screen Problem, where he discusses how Silicon Valley is convinced the television, personal computer, and cell phone will merge.
Read the book. We guarantee it will get you thinking.