I’m glad it’s Christmas time again because that means I get some time off to go up to Canada to see family. Oh, and getting presents…that’s sweet, too. I must say, working in McLean at this time of year is not fun. The traffic is ridiculous with all the people trying to get in and out of Tysons Corner Mall. Tomorrow, I get to avoid most of it, but I’ll be fighting the crowd traffic inside the mall with my side-kick Sura.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m not done with the shopping of the presents. I think the past couple of years, I’m used up all of my good ideas for presents. In trying to figure out why I’m having so much trouble thinking/finding presents for the people I usually get presents for, I came to the following possible reasons:
- I am losing touch of knowing the people that matter to me, their wants and needs
- Industry isn’t being innovative enough to come up with the products worth getting anyone
- Everyone already has what they want/need.
I feel that in the past couple months, I’ve been in a sort of a funky state-of-mind, disassociated from family and friends. I don’t know if this was because of work or not but when I realized this, I didn’t like it. Which brings me to my New Years resolution is to renew past relationships and refresh current relationships. I don’t usually do New Years resolutions, but I figure now is a good time as any to set those things called ‘goals’ in my life.
Looking around the mall, I don’t see a lot of “Oh, My God I Gotta Have That!” things I want for myself or anyone else. Even with the explosive popularity of the iPod, I really just saw a CD player that could hold more songs than before. I guess it has to do with the way I listen to music. I always just play my music collection with Shuffle/Repeat on. I like not knowing what song is coming up next 🙂
I think today’s technology has got to a point where it allows us to do things we do everyday faster than yesterday. Moving forward, I’d be more interested in using technology to define a whole new way to do something. It’s not a matter of making something faster, it should more efficient. These two concepts are not one in the same. Building off of the iPod example, Apple didn’t define a new way to listen or organize music. We still use headphones/earplugs to listen and organizing music under genres and albums/tracks was not novel to iPod. ID3 allows us to easily describe our music and media players like WinAMP are able to organize it. Sure, I can do things faster on an iPod than I could on a CD player such as look for a specific song. In this case, technology introduced a fad. It doesn’t take away from the fact that the mp3 players like the iPod are great products. But other than the visually-appealing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, there isn’t a feature in the iPod that differentiates it from anything else we’ve had in the past 10 years.
What would turn the mp3 player into a “Oh, My God I Gotta Have That!” thing for me is the ability to add social learning to it. Let’s call this new product the ZweeVoo. As an owner of the spankin’ new ZweeVoo, I can say I want to chill out. The ZweeVoo will start playing music it thinks is ‘chill’ music and if I don’t like it, I skip it and the ZweeVoo knows that the song is probably not what I want to be listening to when I’m chill mood. Repeat this for when I’m feeling happy, sad, mad, frustrated, sleepy, indifferent, etc. The more I use my ZweeVoo the more it knows about it’s owner and the type of music to play when I tell it how I’m feeling at the time. I think this would be an awesome feature to have. Something like pandora.com for the portable music player focused around user state-of-mind or emotional state versus user preferences.
As for the last reason why I’m having trouble finding presents for people, I made that one up because I thought a list of only two reasons was lame and I needed a third. Everyone wants and needs at least something. Once they get it, there’s will always be a new thing to want. Probably a ZweeVoo.