THE GEEK’s version of the “Tradie belt”

I haven’t yet met a geek who doesn’t love toys (except for @jeffjervis who was trying to be contrarian with his dramatic stunt of publicly “reboxing of his ipad” with great bravado on YouTube today.) Thanks- picked that one up via @IA on Twitter. 


An act that suggests to me maybe Jeff is just a “pretend geek” and not an inventor, despite having written about the the current Gods of Geekdom at Google so eloquently . Geeks rule the earth because they are experimenters, tinkerers and inventors. If they cant figure out a need for it, they will invent one, as hacker, serial inventor and futurist Paul Pablos Holman so elegantly explains here . -It’s called user-led innovation, and a catalogue of thousands of iphone and ipad apps invented by users is testimony this phenomenon. ) 

But the reason for this post is not to snigger at Jeff, who is clearly VERY courageous to voice a contrarian opinion, but to rather celebrate the energetic messages of worlds of posibility opened by the smart use of technology, brought to us by the Montero brothers on their amazingly rich blog called The Anywhere Office.

Here is just one example of why you should subscribe to them if you are in the business of getting the most value out of the time you have available through the smart use of tools and work and organisation methods. They came up with this idea to enter a competition to win a Flip Ultra HD Camcorder.….and they won! Full story here and this was the video they made that won them first prize. ! 

I have recently ordered 3 new Flip HD minos for our office to lend out to IT teams to submit content for our World Creativity Week celebration (more about that later- see also my earlier post) . And, I have  requested our contracts team to negotiate a mass purchase price so that this vital communication and knowledge capture and sharing device can be offered as an extension of our standard operating environment (SOE) aka “geek toolbelt” at work at less than AU $200 per unit. (We actually bought the starter pack of 3 for US$154 each on Amazon)

This device will pay for itself in a single hour of video footage if it helps create better storytelling capability around work-related issues, aha moments and camaraderie-building. Yes, and even fun has a business value. If you don’t believe me and want that scientifcally verified, read The Levity Effect“. 

So Jeff, even though I am not sure exactly what business problem we will solve this way, I am pretty sure that it will emerge….and that’s what experimentation is all about. 

Tradie belt: Australian slang for pseudo-sex object- a leather contraption slung suggestively low around the hips and worn by a tradesman- like a cowboy’s gun-holster- in which he carries his tools of trade and paraphernalia like pliers, hammer, screwdrivers, measuring tape, etc



  1. Thanks for the post!So do you think the ‘use case’ argument (which Jarvis makes and you seem to resist) ever has merit? Will true geeks always "invent" a use, no matter the product’s shortcomings or redundancy?

  2. Actually- thats exactly how user-led innovation works….users make a product do something that wasn’t conceived in the original design and to solve a problem they have. The creation of all the apps is a perfect example for that. The iphone and ipad is just like moulding putty- an enabler. That is its unique value proposition in my humble opinion. Prof Eric von Hippel at MIT ( has made it part of his life’s work to study how this happens.

  3. Given your penchant for user-guided innovation, what do you think of the widespread critiques of Apple’s restrictive ecosystem? Do locked-down devices like the iPad stunt true geek innovation? Or does Apple’s insistence on ‘closed’ devices only encourage more creativity?

  4. Glad your trying Posterous Annalie and with such great content! This "geek version of the tradie belt" post is excellent. I’ve been reading @jeffjarvis’ book "What Would Google Do" and its demonstrating the opportunity around me as I see Google’s succesful business model continuing to confuse and challenge other businesses.You’re right, there are worlds of possibility from the smart use of technology. This includes gadgets like the tablets and cameras you describe in this post, but also software in general (one of my passions is software and how it can provide business and societal benefit)I’m really enjoying Posterous – and sharing this comment out to both Twitter and Facebook (I rarely cross-post to Facebook but am experimenting here) Which reminds me, have you tried the Posterous "sharing bookmarklet"? Available at you can drag it to you toolbar and start sharing content cleverly. I’m just starting to use it now.See you at the next #twasteup or hopefully sooner – you rock!CheersTony

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