JCL Blog

Turn the Key and it Works

Earlier this year I rented this Camaro and drove up the coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay.  I never thought for a moment that I would have trouble making the car work.  I just knew that when I turned the key it would work. Many of you know that I also drive around a world war II era tug boat from time to time.  Aside from a few old timers, I am literally the only person that can make the thing go (and it takes about 30 minutes and 30 steps just to get it going).

Which one of these experiences is your computer and which is your cell phone?  After countless rejections from my kids, I have now stopped offering to teach them about their computers.  When they have a problem I just fix it for them and most times I do so without crabbing about the fact that they won't let me teach them how it works.  They just expect it to work -- and they should.  Computers have been around for long enough now that we should be able to turn the key and they should just work.  Unfortunately, computers are not getting easier to use.  Every advancement in capabilities is accompanied by a greater increase in complexity and we continue to lose ground.  

When you add in the fact that most customers have zero interest in becoming a computer mechanic -- and we have trouble in the making.

So who is going to win?


  • Smart Phones: Easy to use - have you ever read the manual?
  • Fastest Path to a Browser: Except for the whole Flash thing, this is my iPad -- always on and zero brain damage.
  • Anything managed by professionals somewhere else: IT in the cloud.


People who are betting their careers on the PC should spend more time figuring out how to just make them work.

Here is how Steve Jobs thinks about this.  He is still the most impressive CEO in the business.