Avoid The Debilitating Dangers of ‘iPad Brain’


Yesterday, super geeks everywhere were introduced to the iPad 2, a next generation device said to be 33 percent slimmer, 15 percent light and even more feature-packed than the original iPad. Curious, the nice folks at ReadWriteWeb polled their audience to see how many would be running out to purchase the new model once it becomes available.

At the time of this writing, just fewer than 60 percent of respondents said they would purchase the new iPad, either as a replacement or a new device. And just like that, with one press conference, the cult* that is Apple continues to grow, inciting the type of mass hysteria that can only be properly expressed through a comic from The Oatmeal.

Now, I won’t tell you not to instantly judge the losers who will be camping outside the Apple store until the device is released – you absolutely should. Those people are ridiculous. But also consider if you should be judging yourself.

For as much as we mock people who will now run to sell off a perfectly good iPad to buy a new one – how many times have you quit something that worked simply because something sexier strutted along?

  • Did you trade in your high-performing email campaign for a sexier social media strategy?
  • Did you stop blogging so you could dedicate more time to Twitter?
  • Did you quit adding content to your Web site to put it on your Facebook page?
  • Do you spend more time networking online than off?

The answer is you probably have. It’s tempting to stop what’s hard or what feels unsexy as an excuse to run toward what is, but there’s a danger there.

For example:

Sometimes what you were doing actually worked. When your schoolboy excitement causes you to drop it like a bad habit, you stop reaping those benefits and your brand stuffers. It’s disruptive. Will that new thing ever work as well as what you were doing? If you jump without examining its specific benefits and drawbacks, you won’t know until it’s too late.

It prevents you from ever truly mastering the old thing because you don’t stick with it long enough. There’s something to be said (and learned) from becoming an email marketing ninja by continually tweaking email subject lines, experimenting with segmenting, figuring out the best time to send, testing different calls to action, playing with words, etc. But you’ll never achieve it if you don’t push the tactic. Remember when people took the time to really get good at things?

You move without critical thinking. Twitter’s shiny – but is it aligned to your business objectives? What are the associated drawbacks for your brand? How will it complement everything else that you’re doing? Does it makes sense for you to be there or is your time better spent continuing what you’re doing?

We trick ourselves into thinking it’s not the message, but the medium that truly matters. It’s not. What is really important isn’t the channel or the tool that you pick – but the content you’re putting out. Unless you’re an iPad news site, magnets should not get you hot and bothered. Hacking a tool to its full potential should.

There’s a very slim chance that, for all its slimness and magnet power, the iPad 2 will revolutionize anything. Before you jump into the next bright, shiny idea, wait.
Wait until you can think. Until you can decide if it’s appropriate, if it makes sense, if it will allow you to do your job better. Because if it won’t, why the hell are you jumping? Why are you changing course?

*Oh, and please do not tell me it’s a cult. My own brother unfriended me on Facebook because he “only friends Apple people”. MY LITTLE BROTHER!

Your Comments

  • Garry Polmateer

    I’m at a tradeshow in NYC and I have seen at least 50 iPad 2’s already. Timely article. I still have yet to get an iPad 1 heh.


  • Michael

    Branching off of your thoughts, focus in on what your customers/users/readers/clients/fans are reading. Research where they can be found, what they like, etc. Meet their needs with your arsenal, not the other way.

    And yes, “*Those* people are ridiculous. “

  • Wype

    « Oh, and please do not tell me it’s a cult. My own brother unfriended me on Facebook because he “only friends Apple people” »
    Wouaw, it really became kind of crazy!

    My friend list on Facebook has already begun to sell their iPad in order to purchase the iPad2. But when I ask them how they use it or what for, I don’t receive a lot of answer… They just « want the last iPad goddamnit! »

  • Gordon Currie

    Sadly, I got alot of crap over buying an HTC vs an IPHONE4. I would have bought an iphone but the HTC got great reviews and I can program apps for Andriod vs Apple. I don’t diss apple….I just like what I have. The IPAD2 will be cool and probably something I buy one day soon. I think that whether you have version 1 or version 10, its what innovative stuff you use it for determines if you did well. Currently, I can run 95% of what I want on my phone. But IPADs have many benefits as well.

    As far as your brother goes…well thats why they invented high powered rfiles.. LOL