Seth Godin wrote recently of “the end of magic.” He was lamenting how the newness of the new seems to have passed us by — how the really cool tools and applications that once wowed us in the workplace and life now are so commonplace that they are taken for granted, and no longer devices of Wow!
Wait. Take a moment to ponder the tools we use and what they bring to our daily lives. You might respectfully disagree.
Every day, I use services and tools that keep me connected with the world outside in ways that still seem magical. My BlackBerry brings the Internet and its motherlode of possibilities to a device smaller than a deck of cards (iPhone users will only smirk at the possibilities borne from their device).
Want to contact a peer, client or someone else from my database? Will that be by phone (office, mobile, home, “other”?), or email, or SMS, or MMS?
Add a new name to Google Contacts — and it’s “magically” duplicated in my BlackBerry. Send an email from my phone and it instantly appears in GMail.
As I prepare to head out on Home Office Highway once again this year, I think about the tools that’ll keep me connected from the road.
I’ll fetch my GMail from anyplace my Verizon Mifi Internet access card will let me log on. I’ll be able to access any document that otherwise resides on my harddrive from my Carbonite online back-up account.
Each of our family members will have his or her laptop in the minivan as we tour the countryside. Heck, none of us even own an iPad or tablet — still magical in its own right.
When looking for things to do in such places as Memphis, Santa Fe, Southern California and Napa, I floated a query on Facebook to hundreds of “friends” (most of whom I’d lost touch with in the two decades-plus since college and high school). I received dozens of ideas in return.
As Godin wrote, sci-fi author and visionary Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
“No doubt that there will be magic again one day…,” Godin continued. I counter that we live in a world whose magic still shines today. Looked at as with the eyes of a kid in a candy shop, a child still wowed by the magical, mystical possibilities that these devices (however aging they may be in years) still deliver.
You don’t have to look too far to find the magic still out there today.
What technology or tool remains magical to you in your life and business?
Since the ’80s, Jeff Zbar has been a writer, speaker and spokesman on all facets of working from home and entrepreneurship. His columns, blogs and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, CNN, Entrepreneur, Home Office Computing, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the South Florida Business Journal. He also serves as a small business expert on national television and radio. Follow him on Twitter @chiefhomeoffice or at www.chiefhomeofficer.com.