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eReaders,Tablets, new technologies, new methodologies

10 Dec

While everybody’s concerned with what the kids are watching, what’s your mom and dad reading on this thing?

With new technologies come new methodologies and the technology that has caught my attention recently is the e-Readers, Kindles, Amazons and tablets (not the pharmaceutical kind), apparently they are addictive, people love them, my love is conditional and i will explain why.

So today after a marvelous bike maintenance workshop by the city of Sydney, i navigated on 2 wheels to the Waterloo library for a wonderful presentation on e-Readers, check it out here, courtesy of Jeffery Cruz and the city of Sydney library

Now whats interesting to me is, there seems to be a big trend for people downloading books on these e-Readers according to futurist Stephen Euin Cobb, it would appear ‘Romance novels‘ are a huge hit on these devices and why? Well, it would appear people like reading stuff that they would be embarrassed to buy, interesting?

Tom Hanks liked e readers in the movie ‘Big’Image

Tom Hanks was in the year 1988, this is 2012, the movie Big was one of the first movies i ever saw in the big screen, back in the days when people (me) would get the bus into the city, queue up and see a movie on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t quite Cinema Paradiso, but it wasn’t too far away, the good old days as i sometimes recant

Now, maybe i’m from a different generation or the idea hasn’t really caught on for me and i can see why Steve Jobs would have said dedicated ereaders would never take off, it’s not for me, it wasn’t for him either.

Cinema Paradiso


Maybe Steve Jobs was the kind of guy that would go into any book shop and buy what ever he wanted, whenever he felt like? Me too, except i dont so much buy new books, i like pre loved books and random books, i looked through op shops for over 10 years for a book called ‘Papillion‘, i wanted to buy it for a $1 and i got it at a garage sale too…for a $1 and that people is my thing, i have no idea why i wanted to get that particular book in an op-shop, i dont think downloading it would have been as much fun?

Worth waiting for? You bet!


I like to think books find me, last week i was cycling home and i found a book entitled ‘Your voice and how to use it successfully’, you can download it to your eReader here

And now i realise that we are getting somewhere folks, for rare publications, out of print books, i would defiantly use an eReader, technical books, reference material, of course i would, they are a gift from god, this is why i would love them, otherwise i would rather wait and bide my time and let these publications find me or get them from the library, cycle to the library to get them, stop off in the park, have ice cream, maybe coffee later

I love that experience of going to my library, especially the library in North Carlton in Melbourne and truth be told, i’m not the only one, there are more like me, the nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso for books


The term nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

I couldn’t help eves dropping on some people around me one day using a computer in the North Carlton library, pretty much everyone around me shared the same story of how they loved going to the library so much, they got rid of thier personal computers at home, for me i would stop for ice cream just up the street, sit in a beautiful park, watch dogs playing, the little kid in me loves that, how could i deny myself that?

It was a great experience that resonated within me, every time, the experience is locked in associations in my mind, its hard to appreciate something if you didn’t grow up with it, now cricket comes to mind


I was quite surprised other people felt the same way of going to a library as me, i really was most of the people were about 20 years older than me too?

Its interesting how these things take off, some ideas take off, some dont, plus an eReader would keep a lot of environmental people happy, but i wonder if people who are all about nature would be all about holding and reading a tablet to Die-Dye a t-shirt?

This is the future and 1988 is here, like it or not, we’ll just have to deal with it, maybe some will take advantage of it and accept ‘romance novel’ are Big, could Tom Hanks have predicted that?

One of the big hits initially with the internet was people felt more comfortable chatting with someone on the other side of the world about their likes and dislikes, a lot of ideas caught on from people chatting with strangers outside their peer groups, just so long as your mom didn’t find out and now, and now she’s got one of these eReaders!

I can remember picking this book up on a beach cafe in India, i didnt put it down until i finished it


I can clearly remember finding at random ‘The count of Monte Christo‘, ‘Dr Pascal‘, Francis Chichester’s autobiography, The lonely sea and sky, don’t judge a book by its cover i remember thinking when i picked it up and that cover was in tatters, i found it in my first night in Sri Lanka too, you can download all these books and check them out yourself, call it  serendipity, maybe it’s something more?

But don’t take my word for it.

Serendipity: A “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.


What i do like about the eReader is the E Ink technology, crisp clear, and it uses real ink that gets magnetised, the battery lasts two weeks, with WiFi off, it’s not like looking at a screen, so theres no strain on your eyes

The six eReaders that were presented were only 6 months old and are already obsolete now, sounds a bit like stories of laptops 10 years ago, newer models were coming out within months of each other, eReader technology is moving fast and definitely becoming more and more appealing

Problem, defination, innovation and… an App solution?

28 Nov

So, i have been meeting entrepreneurs and people involved in start up companies in Sydney and a world of possibilities have appeared for me

A major trend that has not run it’s full course is in developing apps, everybody has them on their iPhone, it seems clear if you can develop an app that somehow ties in with one of the seven deadly sins, you could be on to a winner.

Where is the opportiunity?


In the example of Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin says:

Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.

But another train of thought for developing that doesn’t sound nasty that i quite like is

Just live your life until you come up against a problem that you can solve and helps others, then develop a business model around the solution.

So, i have ideas, but how do i translate these ideas into a form that can be presented, developed and released?

Why of course, you would define a business model, business plan, develop requirements and so on and so forth for these ideas.

An idea…


So while swimming, i was thinking of this and i remembered a friend of mine that told me of her aspirations many years ago of becoming a Business Analyst in a company we both worked for.

I remember telling her to look at one of the completed projects in the network drive and :

  • Look at the finished product/project release
  • Trace the work by the Business Analyst, their names would be on any/all documents they participated on, you could do a simple ‘find’ by name search to retrieve all documents
  • Look at how the business need was translated into a requirement that was developed/tested and released
  • By identifying what the Business Analyst did, that’s what you have to do too, you just work backwards from the solution

And this got me thinking of our daily lives, just about everything we see or touch in a city was a problem in

  • Design
  • Production
  • Transportation
  • Usability
  • Safety
We’re all coming to recognize design is everywhere—everything we touch has been designed, and every economy is at least partly design-driven and becoming even more so. “A new value is being placed on design as essential to innovation,” says Carol Coletta, director of ArtPlace, “and on the connection between innovation, jobs, and economic growth.” This growing awareness is especially concentrated in cities, where design is being heralded not only as a savior of the economy but as the solution to a multitude of social challenges.Read more:

And the list goes on, the point is that a solution was found, the endless meetings and sleepless nights resulted in you sitting in the chair you sit in, but what were the requirements for the chair?

Well, your sitting in the chair, so the project must of been a success, it met the requirements, maybe it was innovative too?

Introducing Richard Feynman, a class act


I remember reading when Richard Feynman was trying to figure out an equation, that could not be calculated before the times of computers as we know them, he would start off by guessing the answers and then he would work backwards, he often solved problems this way, he didn’t think he was anything special, he had a different way of thinking, a different approach, and that was the difference and quite often it made all the difference.

A brave new world of apps


So it seems clear, if you want to understand how an app came to be, pick a good one (that helps people solve a problem) and work back towards the time someone had a problem, which became the idea, like for example ‘Drop box’, you can listen to the story through the ‘Stanford university entrepreneur pod cast’ through the ‘Podcast’ app (a fantastic learning app)

In case you don’t know the story of Drop box, the founder had an important presentation, he drove a few hours to this important meeting and he forgot the hard drive that he wanted to present.

This mishap was a personal disaster, the biggest of his life, at the time and he thought, ‘There must be a better way?’, step one in innovation, a question Steve Jobs would spend his Fridays with Craig Rispin asking this question

(Download Craigs ‘How to think like Futurist’ here)

Is there a better way?


And there was a better way to access you files and share your files, and that’s how you have Drop box folks, it’s inspiring that someones personal disaster was converted into a triump that the world could benifit from.

Time to get to work….

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