Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

I knew from an early age that my boys were not going to follow the typical path. Instead of baseball and soccer they preferred taking things apart and computers. And occasionally, they would even take apart my computer, until I put my foot down. People in our neighborhood soon became aware of my gadget boys and would show up at the door with broken electrical items for them to dismantle and dissect.


Once it became abundantly clear that this was their path, I tried to prepare them for a world that seem to give more respect to individuals who could throw or catch a ball rather than reprogram your microwave. To keep the junk to a minimum, I placed large plastic bins under their beds to hold the nuts, bolts, screws, and bits of old equipment that gadget boys tend to gather. I began reading them biographies of people like Edison, Einstein, Jobs, and Gates who didn’t fit the common mold. But it wasn’t always an easy path.

Son #2 discovered robotics during his high school years and that has been a tremendous outlet for him. As a parent, it was wonderful to see my son gathered with hundreds of like-minded kids for competitions.

I ran across this video filmed at the Denver Comic Con of actor Wil Wheaton responding to a question by a young girl on how to deal with being called a nerd. I thought is was very wise and touching and if I had this video when my boys were younger, you can be sure I would have played it for them.

It’s not always easy taking a different path. Today because of men like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates being a nerd isn’t as bad as it was in the past. With the advent of computers and computer technology people are more open to accept those who are more technology oriented.

The gadget boys are grown now. But if you were to ask them, I think they would agree with what Wil Wheaton has to say it does get better as you get older.

Happy Reading  Dismantling

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk


Read Full Post »

It was reported last month that Barnes and Noble and Borders are struggling with diminishing paper book sales. There are some who are predicting the end of paper books in the next ten years. Authors are panicking and publishing houses are taking a serious look at how they do business.

For all of you worrywarts I urge you to stop and take a deep breath…are you a little more relaxed? No? Take another deep breath. We have seen this type of thing happen before to an industry and if we are smart we can come out of this on top.

When I was young we had piano and organ stores in the mall. You couldn’t go pick up a pair of socks without hearing “Lady of Spain” being played at least once.

Here is a lovely version if you are not familiar with the tune:

The entire piano and organ industry was shaken by the introduction of the electronic keyboard. These cheaper, lighter, and more versatile instruments were replacing the classic instruments that your grandma handed down from generation to generation. Many predicted this to be the death of the piano as we watched many companies fail, and soon the organ and piano store in the mall was a thing of the past. But pianos and organs didn’t totally go away, they became a specialty item. The companies that survived began manufacturing electronic keyboards as well and enjoyed even more business and today grandma can still buy a piano to pass down to her children and grandchildren if she wants to.

When I was young we also had record stores where we could purchase vinyl albums, and 8-track tapes (yes 8-tracks)

The record companies moved with the times on to cassette tapes and then to CD’s.  It was only when they began to deal with music downloads that they struggled mightily trying to hold on to their old way of doing business rather than go with the times. Steve Jobs saw a need and rather than fight the trend he created a whole new way to distribute music. Today iTunes is the #1 distributor of music in the world, maybe the record companies should have been a little more flexible.

And now for young Mr. Bieber…

If you are not familiar with the story, Justin’s mom posted video’s of her son singing on YouTube to share with family and friends. He was discovered by Scooter Braun who became his manager. Scooter introduced him to Usher who helped him launch his pop career.

He didn’t follow the typical path to becoming a pop sensation but today he and his fabulous hair are one of the most popular entertainers for young girls and can be seen regularly on Tiger Beat Magazine.

So here are three things that Authors can learn from these examples:

  1. There will always be a need for good writing. Whether it is an e-book or paper book, people will still seek out something to read.
  2. Be flexible– If you hold on to the old tried and true methods you may find yourself in the dust.
  3. Look for new opportunities to promote your writing – Consider blog tours, book trailers or websites, there are many new and creative ways an author can promote your writing or your books, you just have to be open to them.

Don’t be panicked by some of these dire predictions of the future, if they all came true I would be driving my flying car to pick up my son from school instead of driving a mini-van or he would be flying himself home on his jet pack.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

Read Full Post »