78% of new year's resolutions are doomed to failure, say psychologists who've conducted a large scale study of the matter; so you might think it's pretty useless to even bother with the things. And you'd be right. But that isn't going to stop me making a new year's resolution, even though I know it probably won't work.
I have a gadget habit, and it's a bit out of control. So, subject to five exceptions (below), my proposed New Year's Resolution for 2010 is: buy no computers. A computer, for the purposes of this resolution, is a general purpose computing device with a human user interface that I run apps on. (A wifi router or a car engine management system or a radio might contain a microprocessor, but I'm not classing it as a computer for purposes of this resolution.)
I'm allowing certain exceptions because (a) they're sensible, and (b) if I make no exceptions I'm much more likely to fail completely — this way, if I fall from grace I can climb back on the wagon (to mix a metaphor).
Here's the small print:
- I may still buy computers for other people (e.g. parents, spouse, siblings).
- I reserve the right to replace machines that are stolen, irreparably damaged, or need replacement due to unforseen emergencies.
- Peripherals and consumables are allowed: no limits, as long as they're not general purpose computing devices in their own right.
- I reserve the right to upgrade my mobile phone when I get to the end of my contract. (It's due up in May, after 18 months.)
- Special exception: I'd be an idiot to tie my hands so tightly that I can't acquire and mess with new platforms that may impact my ongoing/future business. So I am leaving a loophole for category-busting devices that don't resemble anything I already have, can't be emulated by a combination of things I already have, and have major business implications. (For example: rumours surrounding the Apple tablet device suggest that it's going to be announced on January 27th and that Apple are positioning it as a Kindle-killer. If this is the case, I probably can't afford to ignore it. If, on the other hand, it turns out to be a Macbook that's shrunk in the wash, well — I don't need another Macbook.)
What are your new year's resolutions?