The Presents, the Present, and the Past

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Well everyone, most of us have given and received all the presents we will have for 2013. So…what’d you give/get!? Socks? iPad? Beef Jerky? A new VNX 5400!? A possibility of something extraordinary?

It’s the end of another year, and we know what that means:

  • Our swimsuits are tucked away (unless you live in CA/FL…)
  • We’re about to start going to the gym again…
  • Did you get that project done by the EOY deadline?
  • Our new years resolutions are being finalized for the world to know

When I look back on the year that was, I can’t help but notice all of technologies that have surfaced and revolutionized our everyday lives. Today’s world has become incredibly transformed into a digital era. Literally everything is at our fingertips, and of course we take advantage of that. We all tweet, text, watch, talk, think, comment, search, forecast, like, on the same fast-spinning multi-tasking Merry Go ‘Round. And so far, I have been “enjoying” this ride with the best of them!

However, I have very realized recently that as efficient as I can be, and as many things I can get done at one time, and as thankful as I am for all of these capabilities, often times I miss the things that are most prevalent, and most important. Imagine a skipping stone on a lake that never seems to sink…

Skipping-RocksWell today, not tomorrow, is when I decided that I want to live more in the present. I need to live more in the present. Am I saying that I am wearing my non-multitasking patch on my shoulder? Not even close! What I am saying is there is a time for multi-tasking, and there is a time to focus on the present, what is right in front of you.

What are we really in a rush for, anyways?

As we ring in the new year, and as we put the last sprinkle on our resolution sundae, do yourself a favor and focus on what really matters to you. Choose something that can make you a better person. Take your time…

To be continued…

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Technology and Me- the Xbox One

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In a previous post (The Buyer in Me), I talked about my own buying criteria, and what I feel companies should focus on when looking to innovate.

“What can we bring to our customers that will positively disrupt their everyday lives?”

xboxSo when the Xbox One was finally released, I was one of the first to line up. Am I a huge gamer? Hardly. But did I purchase the Xbox for gaming? Um…sort of…but not really. Now there are obvious capabilities that it has (i.e. Blu-ray player, gaming console, music player, etc…), but none of these were what drew me in.

The main reason I have the Xbox is because it has positively disrupted and enhanced my everyday life and entertainment. I no longer need to use/hunt for any remote control(s), no longer do I need to Skype with my family/friends through a 13″ screen.

  • Walking into the house, I simply say “Xbox on” to turn on the TV, cable, and audio.
  • My family and I want to Skype? I receive a Skype notification on my TV, and with a twitch of the nose and an “Xbox answer”, I’m video chatting with my family in full 1080p.
  • Watching TV and can’t find the remote? “Xbox volume up”, “Xbox mute”, “Xbox pause”, “Xbox go to ESPN”, “Xbox go to Netflix”,  and poof!
  • Want/need to multitask? You can “snap” the screen and play Forza Motorsport 5, while your significant other can watch “The Food Network”.
  • Hate going to the gym in the winter? No excuses now!

Every day we realize more and more ways that this system enhances our entertainment experience, and it is truly becoming the gift that keeps on giving.

Ease of use? *check*. Simplicity? *check*. Powerful? *check*.

What EMC has done to to the enterprise storage market, Microsoft has done to my living room entertainment!

 

The Shopper, the Sport, and The Twilight Zone (Part II of III)

Twilight Zone (defined):

1.  A conceptual area that is undefined or intermediate.

2.  A sphere of experience that appears sinister or dangerous because of its uncertainty or ambiguity.

As hysterical as those infamous nuclear war safety exercises were, and as entertaining as “The Shelter” episode of The Twilight Zone was (link to the Cliffnotes provided by Wiki below), the concept of the twilight zone was depicted beautifully! Hiding under our desks would TOTALLY save us…

Wiki brief of “The Shelter”

Nevertheless, the twilight zone can be applied to multiple scenarios we go through in our daily lives, both socially and professionally. How often should we exercise weekly? How much should we spend on a gift? How should we prepare for another recession? Where should I purchase (insert a given product or service)? What does your data mean to you?

These “…depends on who/why/what/when” questions can be spewed out for an eternity, but it does not make them any less crucial or necessary for each of us to acknowledge and understand.

Just as crucial to understand is the twilight zone behind the question, “Who owns the responsibility of the purchase/sale?” (Careful, the answer to this is not as easy as you may think.).

Is it up to them (manufacturer and/or reseller) to be honest and forthright, keep our best interest in mind with their recommendations, and sell only what they would sell to their parents (figuratively)? Or, is up to us (the consumer) to know our own goals, strategies, budget, and needs, and simply use the manufacturer and/or reseller as a quoting house? Does the responsibility lie with both?

*Let’s get ready to rumble!*

Your answer directly correlates to the three aforementioned categories (Value, Price, Location), and which weighs heaviest to you.

As ambiguous as this question is, the answer to it, in the realm of IT purchasing, is actually quite concrete.

To be continued…

The Shopper, the Sport, and The Twilight Zone (Part I of III)

When it comes to purchasing, I like to think I do my fair share of homework to ensure I make the right decision. To some, shopping is like a holiday, to others, shopping is more like torture. To me, shopping is a sport.

Whether it is clothing, gifts, cell phones, computers, data center hardware, appliances, haircuts, or automobiles, I always find myself leaning on three distinct criteria (and my definition of them) to help me with my purchasing decision:

Value– Which product or service do I receive the most value from?

Price– Which product or service can I get the best price with?

Location– Where do I feel is most convenient, trusted, and best supported?

In nearly every purchasing decision made, companies and consumers consistently weigh these options, choose where they can get the best of all three worlds, and sign on the dotted line.

Where our decisions differ is in the amount of stock we put in each criteria. For example, if all we care about is price, and value and location means little or nothing to us, then that will steer us three towns over where the price is cheaper at the shop that has no refund policy, and has an “F” on their front window. Or we simply go to Craigslist and cross our fingers.

The weight we attach to these characteristics will vary slightly depending on the product or service, but typically the levels of importance we place on each do not change.

Generally speaking, the larger the sticker price, or the greater impact of the decision made, the more we tend to lean on value and location to help guide us in the right direction. We go to the manufacturer, the reseller, the mechanic, or our colleagues for advice, insights, and recommendations, hoping they stay honest and keep our best interests in mind.

*Enter the Twilight Zone*

To be continued…