Here's the idea: We can fix the false impression that the newest gadgets are the only interesting ones by simply promoting the fact that we're getting a lot out of our existing products.
I am lucky — I get to talk to some of the smartest geeks in the world, and to learn from their example about cutting-edge technologies. One of the most interesting things I've seen is that, while so much of the talk in tech circles is about the latest-and-greatest, even alpha geeks often don't run out and buy the newest gadgets and electronics the minute they come out.
But you wouldn't know it from the way we talk about our gadgetry.
Instead, there's an incessant focus on what's just been released on the market, or what's becoming available in the future. It makes even those of us who have great, fancy, expensive devices feel like, well, we're slipping behind.
It ain't necessarily so. I bounced this idea off of a few tech experts I know, and they all agreed that the constant pursuit of novelty over actual value takes a lot of the joy out of loving great technology. So, to help promote the idea of being thoughtful about what we buy, and how long we hold on to it, I created Last Year's Model, with a design from my friend Mike Monteiro of Mule Design.
Today is Earth Day — I don't want to diminish the fact that being thoughtful about our consumption is good for the planet. But It's just as important to me that we really think about what we're doing with these tools and toys.
Fortunately, I'm not alone.
- Gina Trapani was one of the first people to really encourage me to put the site together, and she's already given a testimonial to the idea for the site and helped spread the #lastyears tag on Twitter with her announcement.
- Kevin Rose is on board, too, showing that there's no contradiction between loving the latest in technology and still not chasing every new shiny gadget.
- Joel Johnson at BoingBoing Gadgets a really thoughtful take on the idea.
- Chris Pirillo's got a personal testimonial of how he's getting the most from his current laptop.
I hope you'll participate. I'm very thankful to all my friends who've helped out with shaping this simple little site and the slightly-bigger idea behind it. If you've got a story of how you're getting the most out of the gear you've already got, all you have to do is visit Last Year's Model and share your story.