Technology has changed my life tremendously. Not only did it help me throughout high school, but it also greatly contributed to me getting into colleges that without it would have been dream schools. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in technology, but the release of Apple’s first iPhone transformed my interest into a passion. My mom and I waited in line for over three hours just to get a glimpse of this truly revolutionary device. As I waited, I remarked on the unexpectedness of the iPhone as I had only ever thought of a phone as a means of calling and texting others. I finally reached the end of the line and had the opportunity to explore this computer-phone hybrid, and I realized that technology was developing to a point so refined that what used to take tons of space and expertise to do had been condensed into a handheld device that any person could use. I saw the affect of this development firsthand in my classes as we shifted from writing on paper with pencils to drawing on smart-boards with styluses.
Several years after that initial breakthrough, Apple yet again released a game-changing product: a large but mobile touchscreen computer, the iPad. I remember spending hours in line with my father to get a look at the iPad just as I had years before with my mother. Those uninterested in technology may find waiting hours for a glimpse of a new product ridiculous, but I have always found an awesome feeling in being among the first consumers to explore a new product.
This love of being the first to have some exclusive item translated into a business idea during my sophomore year of high school. Streetwear companies like Supreme and Kith along with sneaker titans like Nike and Adidas were releasing highly sought after products that seemed to sell out before they were even available to buy. I saw this as a profitable opportunity. I started using my resources to buy large quantities of rare sneakers at their retail prices and then sell them for double or sometimes triple that amount. From early on, this scheme depended on technology as eBay was my main selling platform. As my profits increased, so did my hunger to expand into other areas of the resale market. I identified one clothing brand called Supreme that had a massive following and released exclusive items that had big resale markups. Tapping into the incredible power of social media, I made a twitter account that would publish information about upcoming item releases including the timing, pricing, and exclusivity of these pieces of apparel.
When I created this page, I never anticipated that it would evolve into what it is now. Initially, followers trickled in with an increasing amount of new people following everyday until the trickle became a steady stream. About two years after I established the account, two Turkish men contacted me asking if I would be interested in hiring them as private contractors to run a “bot system” that would help customers secure the items they wanted without having to worry about them selling out first. A “bot system” is a sophisticated online backchannel through which users can manipulate the add-to-cart feature on retail websites, so I was wary of pursuing this potential opportunity to shift from a fan page to a business. I decided to take the risk, however, and it has paid off immensely as my page has gained tons of followers and attracted attention throughout the world. Currently, my tweets reach seven million people every twenty eight days with about five hundred new followers everyday. Without technology, none of this would have been possible.
Some may think about the future with fear and timidity, but life demands that we carefully consider and plan for what is to come. In reading his article “As We May Think,” I realized that Vannevar Bush may be at least partially responsible for how common computers are in modern society. Bush clearly makes this point: “Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, ‘memex’ will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.” In this quote, Bush describes an individualized device, a “memex” as he calls it, that a person could store information and resources in as an extension of his mind. Bush’s memex seems to be an early, rough idea of the computer. Here, Bush presents an idea that would not exist until the invention of the first MAC in 1984, about four decades later.
Had Bush not have predicted a possible piece of the future, he would not have helped lay the groundwork for the modern computer, which really changed the way people live in many ways. People often say that we should “live in the moment” and “enjoy the present,” but these clichés contradict the need to think forwardly. As an entrepreneur, I, like Bush, understand the need to think ahead and to anticipate a world that looks very different from the current one. Apple, for example, shows the value of thinking ahead by remaining steps ahead of their competitors. This strategy seems to have worked for them because they still dominate the technology industry. Though he described a rough version of Apple’s products, Bush probably never thought the world would be so dominated by computers or “memexes,” which reveals another benefit of forward thinking. It takes many workers and many steps to bring about true innovation. In this example, Steve Jobs was able to create the iPhone and other products because Bush had already thought of the idea, so Jobs just had to turn the concepts into products. We remember the names of people like Jobs and Bush because the ones who think ahead are the ones make a difference.
Domains…what is a domain you ask? A domain is a Url that brings you to a specific page on the internet. In this case, students are able to make their own blog with their own Url and able to post freely. There are 2 sides to this and they are both talked about in depth in the readings “The Web We Need to Give Students” and “Do I Own My Domain If You Grade It?” My personal opinion on the topic is that I strongly believe it is a good idea for students to publicly share there opinions on a blog online. The reason I feel so strong about it is because everyone should have a voice and opinion when it comes to topics. This is one of the most special things about where we live, we are able to speak out on how we feel about any subject. Not everyone is as lucky as us and we should not take that right for granted. There is another issue that is brought up a lot which is whether it is a bad idea for students that my not want to share there feelings and opinions in front of the public. I do see and understand how that can be tough for some people, but if you do continue hiding your work, you may never get to see the effects it could have on others. People should feel confident in there work and should want to share it with the world. Students will also be able to receive immediate feedback from other students when they post it on their blogs. All in all, I feel that students having a Url to post is definitely a excellent idea in my book.
My expectations for this course are to learn how to become a better writer, and from what I can tell, I will. There seems to be so much support from my professor and the writing assistant to lend a helping hand whenever needed. I would say that having a web presence is important for a specific type of learning. It makes students have to create there own blogs and have to feel comfortable enough sharing it with the world. For many, this can be a very hard and challenging thing, especially for someone who may not be very tech savvy or just afraid of what others will think of their work. Technology is a key aspect of my life and has helped me create things I would’ve never thought possible. Although there are many positive effects of the internet, I can see how it can be a problem for many. When you sit down and study, you can easily become very distracted and get lost for hours before doing your work. As of right now, I wouldn’t say that I have zero concern over having a public academic presence because I believe it helps students more than it can hurt. Feeling comfortable with posting your work to the public is the best way to get real feedback.