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Balance is all about finding equilibrium.  Whenever one side is out of balance with the other, things do not work.  In an increasingly topsy-turvy world, finding balance is more important than ever.  With the rapidly emerging presence of artificial intelligence, blockchain, analytics, call centre bots, and insufficient security, users are at risk of some form of technological disruption and chaos in life.  And, this disruption is not at all positive like some changes in business models, it is downright harmful to your well-being.


Embracing technology is vital for everyone, young and old alike.  No one is exempt from the changes being thrust upon us.  Many are failing miserably to succeed and are clearly out of balance.  Their ability to function in society is diminishing year after year as technology takes on a greater importance in our daily lives.

The finesse of developers to create new products and services that can be gracefully and intuitively adopted by the less technically savvy users is vital for everyone’s future success.  This is where the art comes into the discussion.


This past weekend, I observed first-hand as my wife purchased a new cellular phone and as the household techie, I was naturally assigned the many tasks to bring it to life to replace her older model.  The old phone was an iPhone 6+ and the new device is the iPhone XR, not the latest model just introduced, but more than sufficient for her meager needs.  So, it is a perfect upgrade.  Of course, the carrier forced her to change her service contract.  While she is paying more, she is getting a lot more too.  So, not a big concern other than the excessive costs that continually creep upwards in life.  This OpEx model is not sustainable in the longer term.

Moving from an older iPhone to a newer iPhone should not have been this hard; it was painful.  Yes, we backed up the old model perfectly on iTunes before heading to the store, then immediately restored the new phone from the stored back-up.  That was fine albeit time consuming.  Hey Apple, why can it not be faster and more seamless?


What really hit home was the challenges of adding application services to this replacement iPhone.  I will use two as an example, but there were several more, so this is a more universal problem, then it needs to be.

The contrast between adding her email versus adding her chat tool was stunningly different and shows how inadequate the email industry is compared to the chat industry.

Adding the email needed user IDs, passwords, configuration settings, different methods for different server types, and more.  Yet, adding the WhatsApp was done within the app itself and taking a screen shot of a QR code that automatically and instantly linked the desktop to the phone.  It took longer to download the app then it did to light it up and make it work.  And, the download took about 30 seconds!


Email is low art-form, or perhaps not an art-form whatsoever.  It took more than an hour, with lots of web browsing, research, hunting for settings, finding the right place in settings to add email, searching for user data long ago forgotten, and more pain and aggravation.

But, WhatsApp was easy, fast, painless, and downright joyful.  So, why cannot email be set up as effortlessly as WhatsApp?  It makes me wonder what the world would be like if someone applied the superior WhatsApp automated set-up process to all email set-up configurations.  Email set-up should not be so hard!

The cultivation of mindfulness-based artistic design for products and services allows for an increase of brand loyalty and restores emotional equilibrium and calm.  It may even save a marriage.


Hey Apple, you pride yourself on your superior design capabilities.  Sorry, but this is a nightmare – a complete failure in design.  I can only imagine how hard it would be for a less tech-savvy person to do what I did this past Sunday afternoon.  Restoring a new phone should be performed transparently.  For Apple’s endless boasting about their elite design capabilities, I must say, they are now clearly behind the curve, perhaps five or more years behind.  Time to wake up Apple, or disruption is going to be you downfall too.

About the Author:

Michael Martin has more than 35 years of experience in systems design for broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless, and digital communications technologies.

He is a business and technology consultant. Over the past 15 years with IBM, he has worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He is a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN: TSX).

Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO: TSX) and previously served on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX: TSX.V). 

He has served as a Member, SCC ISO-IEC JTC 1/SC-41 – Internet of Things and related technologies, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, and as a member of the NIST SP 500-325 Fog Computing Conceptual Model, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) [now OntarioTech University] and on the Board of Advisers of five different Colleges in Ontario.  For 16 years he served on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section. 

He holds three master’s degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has three undergraduate diplomas and five certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology. He has earned 15 badges in next generation MOOC continuous education in IoT, Cloud, AI and Cognitive systems, Blockchain, Agile, Big Data, Design Thinking, Security, and more.