Your information source here spent about 15 years in the high tech industry – in marketing and product and user interface development. In that time, I got comfortable with technology and good at translating it into language normal people could understand. If you boiled down my job, it was basically to bring the user's point of view to bear, whether in the process of developing the technology or in marketing it.I also used to write the technology column for our local newsweekly. In that column, I explained the new stuff about computers, the Internet, and such, that everyone assumed that everyone understood, so they didn't want to look dumb by asking about. I was gratified by all the thanks I got from people for explaining things in a way they could understand.In addition to having this background, I am the type of person who thoroughly researches products before buying them. So, I became the guy my friends and family would come to when they wanted the kind of information that is on this site. In fact, that is why I decided to create Consumer Tech Tips. This way I can make this helpful information available to more people who are confused by technological products and what to look for when buying them.
After working in the hi-tech industry for a while, I also became acutely aware of the disparity between how many technical products are marketed and what the potential buyers are interested in. There is also a big difference between how the technical folks view their products and how the consumer does. This is expressed well in the book, The New New Thing, by Michael Lewis: "A stunning ignorance of mass tastes was a common problem in high technology. When a brilliant engineer dreamed up a product, he tended to build the sort of things only a brilliant engineer would appreciate. Typically, he overestimated the average person's willingness to learn how to use some new machine and underestimated the cost of the machine." This is also why instructions and user guides are usually so bad (even if they are written by a native English speaking person). They tend to be written according to product function rather than according to what you and I might want to accomplish using it. Many hi-tech products have been developed, not to fill a specific need, but because someone, like the brilliant engineer mentioned above, had an idea that could be developed. We call these "products in search of a market." There was and is a market for some of them, but not for others. Anyway, after years of marketing this stuff and sometimes being able to get in there and help make them easier to use, too, I learned how to get to the heart of things and explain them in an easily understandable manner.Product Researcher
I said earlier, I'm also the type of person who likes to research products that I'm not familiar with before I decide what to buy. The information is out there, although some is easier to find and decipher than others. I don't know about you, but I've often been disappointed with Consumer Reports reviews. Either they don't even talk about what I feel is important about a product, or the products they tested have been superceded by other models. That is part of the reason why I decided not to get into individual product reviews for this site.Making the Site UsefulI hope this site is helpful to you. For each product, I've tried to start with the simplest summary information, then go into more detail for those who are interested. I welcome comments to help improve this site and suggestions about what other consumer products you would like to know about. Remember, we're staying with general consumer products, at least at this point, not specialized professional products.
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– Reid Neubert