67+ Years Pondering and Pontificating

What do you get after all these years have passed by, and you start looking back ? For me, lots of great memories, an amazing wife, a quad of great kids, a baker's dozen of grandkids, and several tons of experience. Of course, it also brings some entrenched opinions, thoughtful ideas, and perhaps some insight that will help others on their journey through life. Hopefully the posts on these pages will be useful and interesting.

Do you really want an app for that ?

App4That

I was recently involved in a discussion about the growth of apps in everything we encounter.  The originator’s premise was that every business should have a personal app.  I cautiously disagreed.  While it’s true that apps are the current marketing rage, I’m thinking the public reception will be lukewarm at best.

Do you remember when stores all started providing their loyalty cards ?  It might have seemed like a great idea, but pretty soon consumers would need to have a roll along suitcase for all the cards.  There would be a need for a filing system to quickly locate the card, and soon consumers would get annoyed.  People who produce these loyalty systems did a great sales job, but I rarely see people actually carrying the cards anymore.  Its not a protest against the system.  Its just cumbersome to have all those cards.

The same holds true for apps.  The real target here are smartphones.  They are always with us.  People love their phones, the connectivity, and the apps they use.   The downside is that apps consume essential battery and memory resources.  They also take up a lot of space on the desktop, and eventually become hard to find.  Its like searching through the suitcase to find the one item you need.  It will always be evasive.

Smartphone owners will have certain apps they love, and those will be on their device.  Over time, apps that are infrequently used will be removed to retain space for pictures, music, and important apps ( like photo editing and social media ).  Apps for every store that we frequent won’t be used that often and may soon be deleted. 

The smart strategy will be “combined apps”.  For example, I don’t want an app for each fast food place to find out where they are.  I want one mapping app that shows me all of the restaurants in my vicinity.  That’s a keeper.  Want to track my business for loyalty?  Fine.  Have one app that tracks my business wherever I go, and to which the community businesses all subscribe.  That’s also a keeper for me.

I agree that stores everywhere are now creating apps. Like many other “great ideas” sold on a vision, I think this one will peak and fade.  In there place will be more consolidated apps ( services ), and links to mobile enabled websites which provide far more information with a much lighter drain on the device’s resources ( battery, memory, and processor ).

What do you think ?  Feel free to air out your thoughts on this topic.  I’d really appreciate what you would, or wouldn’t, use.

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My Canine Challenge

SirOliver.jpgAs someone who is engaged with the desktop for way too many hours, I had little time for a 4-legged critter who would want food, walks, and shed hair everywhere.  Then came Oliver.

Looking back, we didn’t go looking for the little guy.  He came to us.  A text message said he needed a new home with people who would have time to give him attention.  His physical needs were well met, but he lived in a house with another dog, and people who had a very busy schedule.  We met him, and he was clearly cute and loving.

At the time, I had decided to shed a few pounds, and Oliver immediately helped by getting me out of my chair.  His idea of a day well spent includes walking trips … many of them … to check out every smell and moving creature.  I dubbed him my Health-erciser because the pounds disappeared, and the muscles felt better.

The unexpected fun came with our daily trips through the neighborhood and beyond.  Oliver became a people magnet.  Everyone stopped to say hi, and suddenly our busy schedules slowed down a bit as I conversed with neighbors and shared him with the kids excited to meet someone smaller than themselves.

Dogs can give you lot of attention, and comfort, but they also get you to slow down and socialize.  While Facebook is an “on the fly” networking tool, Oliver enabled new relationships in slow motion.

I would like to have him join me in more social adventures but we are proceeding slowly.  While others take their dogs into the stores and patio restaurants in the area, I’m a bit concern the little guy might have a need to water everything … like light bulbs, patio displays, tools, and various other items found at ground level.   With maturity I think we will encounter more exciting destinations, but for now, our social networking will take place in the neighborhood, and around the lake.

 

I live in a neighborhood with a lot of dogs, and they all seem to be in charge.  I see them taking their housekeepers ( the ones who think its actually their house ) out for regular walks.  They keep these chefs in line with their gourmet diets, and bark orders to the kids and visitors.  They are committed.

I understand, and appreciate, making a commitment.  The tough part is I used to organize my time on my own schedule.  Oliver thinks his should take priority.  He’s in charge of the timeclock now.  We’re working on that one.  I actually do need to get some things done, so he needs to chill out and relax.  I’d be happy to turn the business over to him, but his idea of “distribution” would be to share a lot of falling fur with everyone.  I’m not sure that will be too helpful.

Is a canine running your home ?  How’s that working for you ?  Feel free to share your insights.

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