“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” – Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt : Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (2002)
Since today is Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about love and technology. I’ll go first. For many years I’ve been in a wild and stormy relationship with Apple ever since I laid eyes on the iPhone 4. Aesthetically, she was the kind of muse that raven-haired puberty-ridden poets would write lengthy odes about. An undeniable elegance in her appearance matched only by her joyful user experience – tap, flick, swipe – it was hard not to fall for her, and fall hard.
Oh how I looked through her eyes as we traveled the world together – we steadied each other on the icy streets of Berlin, we dodged street fireworks on Las Ramblas, we huddled in rickshaws as we hurled through the smokey and exhilarating danger of Bangkok, we fell over drunk along the Thames (man, that time she lay etherized upon a table during surgery at the Apple store on Regent Street was the longest two hours of my life).
She was hip too, effortlessly cool, what with her futuristic ability to Facetime people on the other side of the world. Boy, was I in trouble. “No, it’s not like any other love, this one is different — because it’s us,” as Morrissey opines in “Hand In Glove”.
Like any great love story, it’s not all been plain sailing. We’ve had our ups and downs. Sometimes I feel like she’s become lazier (a feeling probably reciprocated…). Like all of us, she has these strange quirks, these annoying traits, these little foibles. Unlike most people, however, she doesn’t seem to want to address these shortcomings. A sort of arrogance almost. It’s maddening at times – especially when I see my friends so content and smug with their Samsungs and Huaweis and what not.
I’ll be honest I’ve looked over my shoulder. Pictured a parallel life with someone else. I’m even ashamed to admit that I’ve been tempted by the fruit of another – and it was the biggest mistake of my life. Sure, my mistress was a fantastic photographer, and could do things that Apple had always promised it would do “one day”. But everything just felt alien. Uncomfortable even. It felt wrong. The most simple of activities would take me hours. It just wasn’t the same. Oh, what had I done!
Which is why last night, nine years after I first held the iPhone in my hands, I spent two hours at the Apple center on a Wednesday evening, tending to my true love. She was complaining of being dizzy and struggling to wake up. “Had she been near water recently?” the Apple doctor asked me earnestly, his eyes failing to hide his pessimism. “Not since the hot tub in Denver a few months ago!” I cried, falling to my knees in despair. Outlook was bleak.
But then the most remarkable thing happened. Suddenly she twisted and stirred. Her beautiful eyes blinked once. Twice. A third time. Then they beamed wide open, the french windows of heaven yawned wide! She was back to her charming self, speaking in different tongues – “hola, bonjour, ciao, hello” – ever the multilingual.
Afterwards we walked home across Granville Bridge, the marmalade glow of the streetlights bouncing off the fresh snow, never more in love. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea, she may not even be the best, but for me, she’s everything. Beauty is in the eye and all that. The reason why we’re attracted to certain sentient and non-sentient beings is one of life’s cheeky little mysteries.
In terms of non-sentient beings, the bond between humans and technology is becoming increasingly powerful and profound. In some form or another, technology should enrich and improve our lives – and often does. It becomes, in a way, an extension of ourselves (even when it lets us down and frustrates).
We see it all the time with our customers. The specialists that plan, build and deliver software – sales, product, project management, business analysts, development, test, ops and so on – truly love their tool of choice. And as we know, love permeates like a pop song.
If you love your tool, you love the work you’re doing; if you love the work you’re doing, you love your job. If your employees love their job, you’re building better products and a happier, healthier organization. That’s just science. Sure, there will always be new fancy tools on the market trying to tempt you, but as the adage goes, when you know you know.
At Tasktop, we connect all the best of breed tools for plan, build and deliver software at scale, automatically flowing product-critical information across the software delivery value stream from ideation to operation, providing end-to-end visibility and traceability. Meaning you never have to leave your tool again. No more switching tools to find the data you need, no more duplicate entry, no more manual hassle, no more spreadsheet management and bleeding fingertips. Just You. And Your Tool. Together. Forever.
Want to learn more? Drop us a line to see how we can marry your tools today so your software delivery can live happily ever after.