Technology is about solving problems. Unfortunately, it also gets confused with coolness. As cool as my iPad, iPhone, and whatever other gadget or software I spend my dough on are, ultimately it’s how well they solve my problems that give them value.
Ernie The Attorney gets this. His recent post, 10 Tech Rules to Guide Users, focuses on principles for making technology decisions. It virtually ignores technology options themselves, unless he’s providing an illustrative example of a principle. As he states in his intro:
Here are 10 key rules you should be aware of. If you work against these rules things will tend to be harder; you’ll spend more money, waste more time, and encounter more stress.
To give you an idea of Ernie’s advice, some of the rules include “2. As Simple As Possible”, “10. You can’t avoid tradeoffs (so don’t try)”, and “5. Embrace the cloud (and syncing)”.
Now ten is a nice round number. And I’m not asking Ernie to amend his sage advice. But I humbly add one more principle that is important when I evaluate technology.
11. Enjoy the Experience
The technology you use should make you happy. Just as people love their iPhone or iPad, look for tech you can connect with. Enough options exist in the marketplace for whatever problem you’re trying to solve that it doesn’t make sense to stick with something you hate. And you’re probably not as tied in as you think to your solution.
The decisions you make for your software and hardware will have repercussions for years. So you might as well enjoy your daily technology existence and embrace tools that have an emotional appeal.