Glad To Sell You The Power: Consumerism Meets Creativity

There’s no doubt we live in a consumer culture in America, and a good part of the Western (and Eastern) world. There’s plenty of things made, plenty to buy, and we do so beyond our basic needs. Obviously, not everyone is happy with this situation, as you can read . . . well anywhere. I myself, always a fan of technology and new things, am not thrilled with waste, passivity, and commodification.

However, at least in some spheres, I’m noticing there’s turns away from standard consumerism. There’s the DIY culture, and its offspring the Makers. There’s focus on simplicity and zero/low waste.

However, I noticed a curious phenomena building over time, one I’d like to discuss for it’s relevance in geeky careers and opportunities; we’re already getting “outbursts” of people wanting more control over what they do and more creative outlets – and people serving their needs by providing ways to do it.

Read more

So What’s Next For Apple?

We here at the fan-to-pro group have a mailing list we discuss things on, including tweets, news, etc.  This came partially from my discussion on what’s next for Apple.

And namely, I’m not entirely sure – because it’s hard to know where anything goes next.

Look, Apple was successful.  They defined markets and products.  They defined designs.  They’re being imitated.  They’ve done well – but as we all know, there’s always the question of “what’s next” which is kind of hard when you’ve come as far as they have.

Except I think the question applies to a lot of technology companies.

Where does anyone go from here?

  • The norm is portable phones that are small computers.
  • The norm is tablets that are flat slates of computing power.
  • The norm is slick and powerful laptops.
  • The norm is portable music, portable books, portable video – portable everything.

So we’ve all got a lot of powerful stuff that does all sorts of things out of SF films and technophilic fantasies.  Hell, I’ll say we’re further along technically than I’d ever dreamed 10 years ago.  The problem is I’m not sure what’s next for any company.

Television?  Gaming consoles?  Being subsumed into other devices.  Social media is established.  Until we start implanting things it seems we’ve hit a great pinnacle of This Stuff Is Awesome.

So what’s next for Apple?  Hell, what’s next for any technology company?

For those of us who can figure it out it’s a fantastic career advantage, or a chance to even found a business.  It’s just we won’t always know when we’re right until it’s too late . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at


The Future Of Computing Is Maybe

So a few trends came up we’re going to need to follow, progeeks:

First, yes, as everyone not comatose under a rock in an alternate dimension knows Microsoft announced it’s own entries into the Tablet wars, Surface. Er surfaces.  Anyway, read the article, once you wake up and crawl out of your other-dimensional Rock

Of course this doesn’t surprise anyone since there have been rumors and speculations for awhile, and since Windows 8 and even the X-Box looked awful tabletesque.  Rather strong design however, though we really do NOT have a lot of information whe you look at it.

Also, the question remains how does everyone else on the planet feel who makes Windows boxes?  Since Microsoft sort of became their rival/enemy all in one go.

Secondly, if you didn’t follow the Wired teardown of the new MacBook pro with Retina display, you need to.  Yes, the thing is basically a brick, but there’s a larger point they make.  Mac is essentially trying out systems that can go two ways – the sealed unfixable/unhackable system (that probably is “repaired” by swapout), and a more open system.  Mac really is following consumer lead, and upcoming choices will likely focus their efforts – so what are we going to choose?

This makes perfect sense, but there’s part of a larger picture – what Mac does is going to affect what other people choose to do.  Like say . . . Microsoft.

We’re going to need to pay attention.  How we use devices, develop for them, repair them, etc. may come down to consumer decisions we’re not expecting because we’re making different ones . . .

It would be an interesting time with just one of these announcements.  With two of them, well, I’m going to have to process this for awhile.  But my thoughts:

  • If you work at any company that makes Winboxes, watch what’s going on. Microsoft could be your enemy, or your friend, or a trendsetter.  Or they may not know.
  • If you’re a developer and you didn’t think you’d be “thinking tablet,” well, you’re thinking tablet now.  Get used to it.
  • The Apple trend bears watching and we should see if sealed/unsealed systems change in popularity and who follows the trends (as it could give competitors an in – or they may just follow suit).
  • I’m not sure how powerful the Wintabs are going to be, which may affect the apps they use.  I don’t think these are exactly gaming machines.
  • The Wintab design looks pretty solid to me – it’s “beyond tablet,” and I expect it’ll be influential if only because it’s what a lot of people want anyway.
  • Google will do something.  The question is, what . . .


– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at