–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

OMG! My behavior is changing, my behavior is changing

So here I am on my first week of having an iPad sitting in bed next to my wife who is already asleep while I am reading a book … HOLD IT RIGHT THERE PEOPLE …

  1. I do not like to read books. Really I don’t. Makes my occupation of being a professor really difficult, but due to some maladies in my vision reading large volumes (over 20 pages or so) is near impossible (coupled w/ having 3 sleeping disorders for the better part of a score).
  2. I do not read in bed. Never have. did ya catch the part about the sleeping disorders in #1. Location, Location, Location is the adage, and well a bed is not a good location for someone to read when reading already makes ya pretty sleepy.

So what the heck is going on?

Well, thanx to my crazy friend, @brooksre, I’m in the rare position of being about to try an iPad before I buy one. So, here I am in my first week of owning this do dad and already I am doing something I would never have done before hand. What the hell? Is it that easy? What’s going on?

It all started with Flipboard. See these screen shots:

Flipboard Opening Screen: Image is in motion, thumbnails of contributor images.

Flipboard Table of Contents: Up to 9 feeds to look at

Flipboard List View: Shows you the content of posts to Facebook, with attention on the content of links and media posted.

Flipboard Pre Article view shows you the beginning of the content from a posted link to an article. Even shows you the conversation happening on FB if any and gives you the chance to jump in.

The experience of Flipboard is not perfect, but it is very compelling. It has changed the way I engage my content on Facebook and even has given me new outlets to explore around topics like News, Design and Technology that I wouldn’t have explored as easily before. I will admit that I don’t like reading Twitter this way but that’s b/c Twitter is so darn conversational for me and less of my feed is about linking to other content on the internet.

So that started changing my habits. I found for the last 3 nights that I’d flip through my flipboards every night. Then tonight, I did it. I bought a book on Kindle and starting reading it after I was done with my flipboards.

The book was “Gamestorming” by @davegray and a few of his friends. Why that book? Well, because it was under $10 and topical for a project I’m working on. (good read so far).

So in less than a week the combination of having an iPad got me start doing something I otherwise would’ve hated doing because of the way that device affords some neat behaviors:

  • A level of intimacy with the device that allows it to easily enter contexts that are less comfortable for previous contexts. Even a mobile smartphone is less comfortable as it is too small. A laptop is not only too large, but requires to be plugged in if used in this way. My laptop does not last more than 2 hours.
  • A form factor that has a large enough screen, yet is still light enough to be held on the side or placed on the lap similar to a book.
  • A screen with high enough resolution and pixel density as to be crisp enough.
  • A platform that allows for the creation of applications like Flipboard, Reeder (Google Reader RSS Reader), and Osfoora (Twitter Client) that combines graphical richness for emotional engagement with abundant feature sets.
  • A platform for easy and quick book purchasing that in SOME cases reduces the price point of distribution to levels I can live with.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but these are the ones that come to mind. I’m not suggest that having a Kindle or Nook wouldn’t have been great, but for me since I’m an iPhone user/lover, and not a big reader, the iPad as a multi-functional tool fills other practical (and impractical) needs/motivations while enabling and encouraging behavior I had previous resistance to.

Yes, this is a personal story, but

  • It expresses how the insertion of technology can be effective for change
  • That no 1 component is responsible for changing behavior
  • That often behavioral change is at once “accidental” and “directed”.

Has anyone else noticed how inserting a new product in their lives has changed their behavior and can you explain how it do it. I’m not looking for examples where you bought a treadmill and now you run. I’m thinking of how maybe a DVR/TiVo changed your behavior in unexpected ways beyond the initial intention, or how a smartphone changed how you think about email, etc. What’s changed you?

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