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It’s All About the Transition

September 18, 2009

Some days, I think I may be in the wrong program. In case you didn’t know, I’m studying iMedia, short for Interactive Media, at Elon University in Elon, NC. In an essence, I am currently a scholar of what could be considered the future. That’s where my skepticism enters the equation.

Here is my evidence: I am not usually a part of the Early Adopters, that group of people who like to sign onto the beta versions of new innovations. Nope, I’m the skeptical one. In fact, I just purchased my very first iPod — please just don’t remind me that two weeks after I did so, Apple released the new version of the Nano with video and radio capabilities. I waited EIGHT YEARS and then they upgrade on me? Please. Don’t. Mention. This. To. My. Face.

Another piece of evidence? My rather violent reaction to the Kindle. And a similar reaction to Twitter and Facebook before being peer-pressured or forced-by-assignment to join. I like to stand back and watch things happen first, test the waters, get a feel for the concept and purpose of a device, and also make sure I’m not wasting resources, whether it be time or money, on something that will be absolutely inconsequential in a month. Or a year. Get where I’m coming from? Good.

But! I think that studying the future is actually going to be a positive thing for me, as it will force me to consider my motivations early. This can hopefully help me transition from being an Execution Person into a bit of an Idea Person. Or I can just employ others for that.

And now, to demonstrate how transition can be a good thing, I give you a look at a new piece of technology: The Espresso Book Machine.

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 2.50.29 PM

The Espresso Book Machine is a printer, publisher, and book vendor all in one neat compact machine. It was first conceptualized over 10 years ago, and then brought to life by Jason Epstein in 2007. It has access to the 2 million books in the Google archives and can print, trim, and bind a 300 page book in less than for minutes for $8.

Imagine the possibilities! In multi-lingual areas, books can be printed in multiple languages. In academic settings, books can be printed on demand. Conference manuals can be printed and bound, projects can be printed and bound… and on and on. Small titles will no longer struggle to find publishers, as the Espresso will ensure that the right audience will find the product it is looking for. And maybe, just maybe, the Espresso is acting as a transition for humans from a world dominated by print to the now-dawning Digital Age.

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