Your epiphany product
by make_or_break - 8/28/11 7:06 AM
All of the talk surrounding Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO at Apple got me thinking about the products that the company has produced during his two tenures with the company. Love him or hate him, you have to respect the influence and often game-changing redirects that he and his products have wrought on the tech and consumer electronics universe.
But beyond just owning an iPod or an iPhone, it also got me thinking about what consumer products have had a profound and influential impact on my life, an influence that I never anticipated or expected and didn't recognize until after I got the thing home and started to actually use. At first this musing was focused primarily around so-called 'tech' items, but then I started to look beyond that to recognize other commercial goods that were so influential on how I lived and just rewrote the direction of my life shortly after the first time I used it.
With as long as I've lived (so far, knock wood), there have been so many things that have changed the way I approach life that I'm not sure I can identify the most significant of the lot, but certainly I can point to a few: my first computer, an Apple II+, was certainly game-changing, but subsequently so was my first MS-DOS based PC, a NEC APC...or my first computer with a hard drive, or my first graphical interface computer...or my first laptop. Then there was my first dSLR, a Nikon D60s, but my later D200 and D300 (when my D200 broke) even had a more profound impact on how I took pictures.
As for music listening, my first iPod was indeed influential, particularly in those early days of iTunes before the bloat, but I already had a Creative Nomad Zen--among others--prior to that. And then there was the paradigm shift from vinyl to CDs...I and my Yamaha CD-2 were there at the very start in the early 1980s. Then of course when it came to driving there's my cherished '96 Porsche 911, but then it's not all that different from earlier 911s that I had previously experienced and enjoyed and certainly has been outclassed by more recent examples. For communications there have been so many...from my first Motorola brick to my first Nokia flip then candy bar to my first CrackBerry to my Android G1 (my current phone--the Droid Charge--doesn't make the cut, btw)...all have had a profound influence on changing the way I stayed connected, and are hard to choose which was the more significant.
With so much stuff out there I could easily go on and on across so many categories and product types to TRY to pick out the most profound product that completely rebooted the way I had done things before it came along. But to pick out the ONE that was the greatest epiphany moment...that's proven to be quite hard and so far impossible to pinpoint. So as I continue to mull over what my most influential/significant/game-changing consumer item is or has been, I'll ask the question of the world (well, at least the CNET forum world): what's your ultimate game/life-changing product?