Mild-Mannered Canadian Fury

Doug Stephen is Politely Peeved

Why I haven't been all over the hype leading up to today's Apple announcements

Wed, 12 Sep 2012 Ā«permalinkĀ»

I haven’t had much to say about any new iPhone rumors. Nor have I had much to say about the “iPad Mini” in quite some time.

In fact, pick any “hot” Apple rumor and I haven’t really been covering any of them.

For the past two or three years, I’ve had a long standing history of calling in sick to work on big Apple announcement days. Mostly for myself. And I’d usually write about the events in some capacity. But that won’t be happening today. And I probably won’t have much of an opportunity to follow along with the liveblogs, either. I’m okay with this, though. Steve Jobs himself said that focusing is knowing how to say no, and there are peaks and valleys in the amount of activity and volume of content on this site for that very reason.

I’m not a journalist. I don’t run this site for a living; you can clearly see that there aren’t even any ads here. I don’t have the numbers to make ads worth my while. But I’m okay with all of this. I’m not John Gruber, or Marco Arment, or Ben Brooks, or Shawn Blanc, or Jim Dalrymple. I don’t write to support myself. I write here because I like to write. It’s fun for me. And writing is fun for them, too, but once you start accepting revenue whether it be through ads or memberships or anything like that, then it becomes a job and a responsibility. That’s not to say that in the future, if my viewership grows, that I wouldn’t be open to joining an ad network if I found their terms agreeable. I’m just saying that it’s not my primary goal. This site has never been a “job” for me. My job is, well, my real job; writing software. And in order to be good at what I do, I have to know how to focus. I love what I do, and so sometimes that means saying no to things going on in my life in order to focus on the robots. That’s why this site can be inconsistent at times. I don’t have the luxury of making this site my full-time job, or being self employed, or working a 9-to-5 cube monkey job where taking breaks to write throughout the day is feasible. There are days, weeks, and even months where I will have to crank, putting in 10 or 12 hour days, or as one of our head researchers puts it, cranking out what would normally be a summer intern’s project in a week. This is common for many software developers, yet at the same time amplified so much by what it is that I do; robotics is competitive like whoa. And I’m okay with that. But frequently, one of the things I have to say “no” to is this site.

That said, work has been ramping up and so have rumors about the new iPhone. And if you read any small handful of tech websites, then you know that everyone is saying the same thing. Sure, there are people with insight. And this insight is the reason that we read people like John and Marco and Shawn and Ben and Jim. I used to have insights, too. I nailed it when I predicted the iPad 3 internals, I had some thoughts (that I feel have panned out wrong) on the iPad “Mini”. I haven’t written a post like that in a long time, and I feel bad about it. But, I’ve had to say “no”. There are plenty of people out there who are smarter than me with much more to say and much more legitimate insight1 than I could ever dream of having. And I’m okay with that. So when the fields that I write about get frothed up and transformed in to these insane echo chambers, as they are wont to do, and when I have to start managing my life, my time, and managing my happiness, I have to pick my time wisely. Shouting in to the crowd just to boost the signal from a bunch of people saying the same thing already isn’t always the greatest use of my time.

I work near full time. I’m a university student working on three bachelor’s degrees. I have a side business working on the web as a contractor. And I’m not trying to brag.

I’m just tired.

So just know this.

It’s not you.

It’s me.

  1. Read: Insider information.