From Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs…
It turns out that the Americans make washers and dryers all wrong. The Europeans make them much better–but they take twice as long to do clothes! It turns out that they wash them with about a quater as much water and your clothes end up with a lot less detergent on them. Most important, they don’t trash your clothes. They use a lot less soap, a lot less water, but they come out cleaner, much softer, and they last a lot longer. We spent some time in our family talking about what’s the trade-off we want to make. We ended up talking a lot about design, but also about the values of our family. Did we care most about getting our wash done in an hour versus an hour and a half? Or did we care most about our clothes feeling really soft and lasting longer? Did we care about using a quater of the water? We spent about two weeks talking about this every night at the dinner table.
Who cares? Who cares about washing machines? I probably would have said the same a couple of years ago.
For a majority of my life, I have followed the commonplace wisdom of my parents and society at large. I went to school and studied hard. For many of my colleagues, this seemed like a mere trivial task for them, a life principle easily adhered too. As they continue their educational goals in graduate school, I often feel pressured to play catch-up.
However, looking back at it all–as if I have many more years of wisdom than I actually possess–I wouldn’t trade my time off from school for anything else in this world. Freed from the shackles of the homework, project, examination cycle, I felt I could pursue my true passions to my heart’s content. And when I was idling and didn’t know what to do about it, I actually felt like I was learning something about myself.
One of my ongoing projects of the last year has been to radically reimagine my workflow. I asked some scary but important questions. Am I doing things correctly? Is this the best possible way to complete this particular task? It turns out that I was asking all the wrong questions.
In truth, every life decision we make, whether we are aware of it or not, is imbued with our sense of self and identity. It either resonates with our inner core values or it doesn’t. The entire purpose of this blog is to empower you to look at your technology and determine if it properly reflects who you are.
I value simplicity and user-friendly interfaces. My technology should always play nice with each other. I want them to be portable so I can take my work on the go at a moment’s notice. This reflects my desire to keep pushing forward, as if initiating physical movement or creating an environmental change can somehow cause the mind to flex and bend. Or as if the thinning of my devices mirror my ongoing desire to stay modern and relevant, sleek and healthy.
I will not simply review consumer technological products, although at times it may feel like it–I have to mention and outline product specifications if I am to ever land on a practical buying suggestion to you. But I hope you find, over time, that the questions I ask that are most agitating at first evolve to become the distinguishing feature of a Taestful Review. Who cares about a washing machine? I guess the more pressing question is, do you?