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Awesome Email of the Day: How Little You Really Know

Back in February, I wrote a blog post titled How Little You Really Know. If you haven’t read it, go check it out now.

I got the below email in response, and have kept it in my inbox as a reminder of why I do what I do.

It’s a few months late, but I wanted to share it in the hopes that it motivates you to reach out to the people who help further your thinking, and to appreciate those who have the kindness to let you know when you’ve furthered theirs.

To the person who wrote this email, you know who you are. Thank you.

Wow, I am going to email your blog post to 9 octrillion people.

I am a seasoned technologist, and I’ve been exasperated at the hubris of my fellow nerds who just can’t believe their understanding of technology isn’t ubiquitous.

As a VP of IT, I’ve had shouting matches with engineers trying to convince me to adopt linux as the desktop platform in my company when my users can’t tell the difference between a forward and backslash.

I am convinced it’s this reason that the iPad is going to be a success. It’s the Internet minus the nerds, and frankly, I can’t wait.

Good luck, and keep writing to educate the rest of us.

- [name redacted]

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  • http://mattvanhorn.com Matt Van Horn

    While I agree with the basic premise of not over-estimating your users, I’m not sure that “the Internet minus the nerds” is going to be as good a thing as he expects. Be careful what you wish for.

    It strikes me as saying McDonalds is like Per Se without the chefs, and sommeliers and those annoying epicurean patrons.

    It’s true, and McDonald’s is enormously successful, but what innovations has the fast food industry been responsible for, and how many of them have been beneficial to society as a whole? How many people would argue that the proliferation of fast-food is good for the culinary arts & sciences? How many people would like to live in a world where 95 out of 100 restaurants were McDonald’s? (Which is what would happen tech-wise if the iPad/iPhone model gains the market share of Windows)

    I think the difference between the iPad and traditional (for-nerds) computers is that the latter encourage production, and the former only encourages consumption. For someone who likes to make stuff, a world which rewards easy consumption over hard-won learning is a depressing place.