Caution: Universe Change

Today we lost an hour from our clock as daylight savings time made its return. That seems appropriate. Here in Chicago we vaulted from fall right into spring, bypassing the mess of winter we are usually required to endure. It’s the universe’s way of trying to keep up with the manic pace of convergence here on earth. Expect this to continue. It’s not climate change, it’s universe change. Things are expanding and speeding up and no you can’t stop it.

We used to say, “I”m going to go on the computer.” We would step down to the basement or enter our study and approach a massive control center. Something resembling a large television occupied much of the our desk space. The PC was called a “tower.” If you were brave enough to look behind that tower you would see a tangle of dozens of umbilical cords criss-crossing their way to various devices. All of it encased in a deep layer of protective dust. Everything was stationery. You had to make a pilgrimage to the altar of technology to experience a computer.

We no longer go on the computer. The computer is “on us”. It encases us. Surrounds us in a halo of spectrum. No cords, no large workspace footprint for a non-interlace monitor needed. One can easily lose a computer today. There is no friction between our curiosity and the all knowing internet. Think about that for a moment.

In her latest book Alone Together, Why we Expect more from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkel writes.

Now we know that once computers connected us to each other, once we became tethered to the network, we really didn’t need to keep computers busy. They keep us busy. It is as though we have become their killer ap.

Indeed computers may be sorry they became so powerful. We are constantly clicking, tapping, pinching and swiping them to find out what they have been curating since the last check in. If they are slow we curse. There will be no rest for them, ever again.

This has major implications for marketers who now need to be digital domain experts and social mavens in order to gain value for their campaigns and results. We will need to bring in mobile, social and the web. This means the corporate site of course, but it extends well beyond a web site into society at large. It will require mastery of time and space and behavior. Something very different that we have had to do in the past. Tell them (yourself) to get going and fast. Before we lose another hour. Oh and by the way, Web 2.0 is irrelevant.


Blackberry Playbook Has Promise

The guys from Blackberry were in the office today showing off the new Playbook. Like most companies we carry Blackberry devices for corporate email, so we chat with our friends from RIM from time to time. I got to play on it for about 20 minutes. Here are my first impressions.

  • It’s nicely sized and easy to operate with one hand
  • Has some nice heft, but won’t fatigue your arms
  • Right thickness
  • Rubberized back casing makes it less cool looking than an iPad
  • The viewable screen is surrounded by a fairly large black bezel
  • This Bezel is important as it is the starting point for swipe gestures that activate the keyboard and change tablet modes
  • It’s very, very fast
  • Only comes in WiFi, but I don’t see that as an issue
  • No native email, but it has a pretty slick bridge (Bluetooth) to the Blackberry I already carry. They claim it’s a security thing
  • When you cut off the bridge function none of your firm’s data, or documents stays on the tablet. Big plus.
  • It does Flash
  • You can connect to a projector for presentations or directly to HDMI
  • Video is 1080p and very crisp
  • You can have programs running simultaneously and simply swipe from one to another and they continue to run
  • Runs versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel without the issues one sees on the iPad
  • Priced at $499, $599 and $699 based solely on storage capacity
  • No simple program like iTunes to help manage getting content from your hard drive to the Playbook

It’s not an iPad killer, but it will turn some corporate heads and probably increase their dominance in this important market. It will serve as a choice for consumers, as the iPad is not for everyone. All in all I think it’s a great opening shot for Blackberry.