Recently, I talked about how Geddy Lee changed my perspective on Information Technology (IT) with his reflection that we are always learning as a part of our daily lives. Continuing to reference the bassist from Rush, my favorite band growing up, I wanted to bring up his solo album "My Favorite Headache" and how my experience listening to the album also has parallels with the world of IT.
The Story of My Favorite Headache
As I've noted, I was hooked on the progressive rock power-trio from Canada from the moment I first heard their live album "All the World's A Stage." I was in high school at the time, but even after high school, I was still a fan, buying their latest album - even if the usage of keyboards and synthesizers had been reduced dramatically from the 1980's era.
I was working full-time in the IT industry when "My Favorite Headache" (the solo album by Geddy Lee) was released in 2000. Big box retail store Best Buy let me know about the album via their weekly advertisement - offering the compact disc (CD) at a price point of $10.99 for a short period of time. That afternoon, I drove to my local Best Buy and found myself listening to the album on the journey back home.
After giving the album a listen, I was left with an unsatisfying feeling. I am not one to "hate" anything, but I was clearly not a fan of Geddy Lee's solo album. I remember telling friends, "obviously Geddy Lee isn't the reason I am a huge fan of the band Rush."
As a new user to eBay, I immediately put the CD up for sale. I was clear in my listing that I was a long-time fan of the band Rush, but this album is not something I want to listen to in the future. By the time the auction ended, I received a payment for over $14.00. So, while I wasn't a fan of the album, I did manage to make a few dollars on the purchase.
What Does This Mean for Information Technology?
How can Geddy Lee again have an impact on the world of IT? Two times in the last 30 days.
When I think about seeing the advertisement for the album, I recall the anticipation and excitement of hearing something new from a member of the band I pretty much idolized as a kid. I could not wait to get my hands on the product and experience everything it had to offer.
This is no different than the things we encounter in technology. Thinking back, there are some things that I was really excited about that didn't really turn out as awesome as I anticipated:
I remember being very excited to read about Steve Jobs' innovation to revolutionize the personal computer industry. The NeXTSTEP computers were going to be the answer. After a convincing sales pitch, my manager agreed on obtaining a NeXTSTEP machine in our data center for evaluation. Upon receiving the NeXTSTEP computer, I remember being let down with the reality that was the product.
Web Services (UDDI) Discovery
While attending a conference, I heard presenters talking about the idea of web services discovery and the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) protocol. The hype was focused on this way-cool registry where I could browse the catalog to find a service that helps meet the needs of the customer faster and better. However, the registry idea really didn't take off because of the complex model and lack of overall demand - despite being backed by industry leaders IBM, SAP, and Microsoft.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
When HTML 2.0 was released in the mid-1990's, the promise of a web-driven world with endless possibilities was at the forefront of everyone's mind at the time. This web design standard would revolutionize the way the world operates and acts. However, as a developer relying on HTML, I realized there were aspects missing to build and deliver applications that truly met the needs of the end-user or customer. As a result, changes in the way applications were developed were employed, mostly including third party frameworks to bridge the gaps.
In all three cases, eventually, my anticipation was met by further product innovations. Personal computing technology advanced well beyond what NeXTSTEP computers promised, RESTful web services met the aspects missing from the initial round of web services, and later versions of HTML introduced features and functionality that were met by third party services.
If only there was a way in which Geddy Lee's solo album could have eventually met my expectations. In a way, I guess it did, as "My Favorite Headache" will always be my favorite headache.
Have a really great day!