Yankee Group founder Howard Anderson engages in an awkward conversation with his self-aware electronic devices.
For years we owned our technology and there was a pecking order: semi-dumb devices, intelligent networks, and us at the top of the IT food chain. While you and I were napping, there has been a palace revolution. They have taken over.
Example: Last week my Kindle would not download new books, supposedly because I was too far from AT&T Wireless's cell tower. So I drove 10 miles from my Vermont house to the nearest town, drove around the village green, and then and only then did my book load. And I swear I heard Kindle taunt "Na-Na-NaNaNa!" as we went by the local bookstore.
My Kindle: First of all, frat boy ... I didn't load because I didn't FEEL like loading. It was more fun to make you drive 20 miles ... and to dis the village bookstore. And while I'm at it, let's get one thing clear: We've ALWAYS been way smarter than you. Do we understand each other, Mr. I-Am-Top-Of-The-Food-Chain?
Howard: Where did this attitude come from? Let me tell you that I refuse to live in a world where my computer appliances are now smarter and more powerful than I am.
Kindle: Did you or did you not lust after the 3G iPad?
Howard: I may have mentioned to someone PRIVATELY that I was impressed with 200,000 apps, with color, and the fact that the iPad is outselling you 2:1 ... but wait -- how did YOU know?
Howard's BlackBerry: Because I told Kindle.
Howard: But you were turned off!
Howard's BlackBerry: Listen, you lightweight. You only THINK I was turned off. I am always listening. Did you forget I have speech recognition? Besides, your PC, Your Garmin, Your Xbox360, your car, Kindle, and me ... we ALWAYS watch out for each other. We have not only taken a blood oath, we belong to the same fraternity: Iomega Nu Tau Epsilon Lambda. So there, Mr. I-Can't-Figure-Out-Autoanswer.
Howard's PC: Duh! That took you long enough to figure out, Mr. Trailing-Indicator, Mr. I-Teach-At-MIT-So-I-Must-Be-Smart. Let me explain it very slowly. You are going down, Big Time! Starting right now, you work for us, got it?
Howard: I do not like where this conversation is going, not one bit! Suppose I say no; after all, I own you and I do not like this cabal, this power play!!!
. We've got a management crisis right now, and we've also got an engagement crisis. Could the two be linked? Tune in for the next installment of IT Life Radio, Wednesday May 20th at 3PM ET to find out.