The holiday season means two things to those who’ve worked in IT: One, you’ll be visiting family and they’re going to ask you to configure their new doohickies or take a “quick look” at a computer bug. And two, there’s a lot of new stuff crowding the shelves at Best Buy, and they’d like an expert recommendation before they hit the store.
I don’t mind offering an opinion, but when it comes to mastering gadgetry these days I happily tip my hat to my enthusiast friends, kowtowing to their areas of expertise. There’s simply too many toys on the market to really know them all, and buying into one ecosystem of devices and apps precludes day-to-day experience with another.
But here’s the thing: The biggest change over the last decade has nothing to do with variety at all. It’s about quality. The average gal can now get her hands on near-professional level equipment at the local Best Buy. In theory, any of us can play with the big boys. Given enough time and tenacity, there’s no reason why you can’t make your own feature film, record a hit record, or launch an IPO-worthy start-up in your basement. The basic tools are available to everyone. All of a sudden, your competition isn’t the church organist or your geeky buddy at work, it’s Lady Gaga and Mark Zuckerberg. You used to be happy hobbling together a vacation video. Now you have to ask yourself ,”What would Spielberg do?”
Sure it’s daunting, but it’s also exciting. Possibilities are a good thing — just don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.
So here’s my advice: Don’t worry about the gear. Tools are great, but there’s no substitute for honing talents over time. The best is what works for you. If it works, you’ll use it. If you use it, then you’re already a step ahead on the path to success.
Buying is trying, and trying is never the same as doing. Never forget what Yoda had to say about that.
Image credit: some cool paper cut thing on etsy.