Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Peril of the Middle

I often cite a quote I once heard regarding the "peril of the middle".  Not sure who originally coined this, but it's noted that: "In Texas, they say that the only things in the middle of the road are painted lines and dead armadillos".  Translation: you don't want to be in the middle.

Now being in the middle is something I'm familiar with, but I don't know you all that well and so we'll save those stories for another day.  On this day, I'm going to comment on the iPad as being right there, smack dab, in the middle.

First of all, many (myself included) have touted the greatness of this mobile device.  In short, I have never found anyone who doesn't have or want one.  The nearly mystical leader of Apple, Steve Jobs (I had to use this art above from Gizmodo) calls the thing magical and it truly is.  Truly.

When he initially announced the iPad, there was a graphic up on the wall behind him showing the smaller iPhone and the larger MacBook Pro and then right there, you guessed it - in the middle - was the iPad.  The iPad is not designed to replace your computer or your phone, but rather to stand on its own in the center of it all in a more complementary fashion.  Makes sense, right?


I've used it.  I've loved it.  And I've decided that I would never, ever let it go.  But, here's the problem (and one I've alluded to here on these pages): I have a work-issued blackberry.  A desktop computer.  A portable computer for mobile computing, presentations, etc.  An iPod Touch for music and other media content.  Then I have a computer at home.  When I go places, I feel like I'm carrying 300 lbs of technology with me, including chargers and other necessary accessories. 

On the one hand, each device has its place and serves its purpose.  On the other hand, there's the simplicity thing.  Traveling lightly.  Having just what you need and no more.

The Apple iPad does so much so well.  It's the one device that you'd keep if you had to keep only one.  But, therein lies the peril of being the middle.  I'm not keeping only one.  The iPad can't make phone calls.  It won't contend with the large files of my photographs.  It doesn't natively work on the network in the office.  It's a good music device, but try holding that thing while you're riding your bicycle.  And because the simplification bug is hitting hard, it's time to make a decision.  (A decision by the way, made much easier by the fact that the iPad is still in such demand and supplies are so low, used ones are going for the same or even more than brand new ones on eBay.)

And so, the best device of all... the one in the middle... is the one that has to go.


  1. But I bought mine because of you.

  2. Well written. What you're saying is that ti is a luxury item, not a necessity. my analysis exactly.

  3. I believe the ipad can replace full blown computers for most people who use them only to surf the web and write emails. For them, it is not "in the middle." But for most, you're probably right. Armadillos are ugly.