The Apple Watch gets a lot of flack for not being very useful in a business setting. As a very very busy entrepreneur running a quickly growing company, I couldn’t disagree more with that evaluation. I too thought it may only be Apple arm candy when I first bought it, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I use it in my everyday life, both business and personal. Apple Watch stands between me and the chaos that is my always ringing, beeping, notifying iPhone. Here’s how it has become my trusted assistant, notification bouncer, and secretary:
The historic warehouse that is home to the Pad & Quill World Headquarters sits on a bend of the Mississippi River. About a quarter mile upstream, the Mighty Miss is spanned by the Lowry Bridge. It is named after Mr. Thomas Lowry, an entrepreneurial transportation visionary. He owned the SOO Line Railroad and a network of public transit cable cars that wove through the city and beyond, expanding to land that was, as of then, undeveloped. Mr. PQ rode the cable cars to court Mrs. PQ, so essentially, without Mr. Lowry, there would be no Pad & Quill. Without the Mississippi River and the rails, there would have been limited expansion of the Midwest, as these were the chief means of transport for farm goods, flour and iron. They allowed local merchants to distribute their goods across the nation and around the world.
This week, Apple partnered with luxury brand Hermes, for three tremendously gorgeous, albeit absurdly expensive leather Apple Watches. Apple will be showcasing them in their stores. This is a move that they are very equipped for since their stores already exhibit a strong jewelry store vibe, with glass accents, and bright lighting that makes everything shimmer and seem worth the cost. This move confirms what many have already speculated about what the Apple Watch really is. The Apple Watch is fine jewelry. And really, that is what watches have always been about.
Stop calling it a smart watch
Some undiscerning press seem to be under the spell of purely technological comparisons of the Apple Watch; software specs, speed, battery life. While those hold an undeniably important place in product evaluation, it is a bit of a red herring with the Apple Watch’s true nature. This is set forth pretty clearly in how Jony Ive himself talks about the Apple Watch. In an interview, when asked if he thought the Millennial market, a market that has never used watches, would jump on the product, he simply responded with a nonchalant shrug saying, “I don’t know,” and then went on to clarify that Apple’s only intent was to make a more personal product, since it is on your wrist. He made it clear that Apple is not out to compete with other watch makers, be they smart watches or not. He knows the iPhone is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else, and that technology is what the Apple Watch is really showcasing.
This plays into a very interesting psychological aspect of how we all tick, as social psychologist Sam Gosling explains. He has extensively studied why people keep the objects they do around them or even on them, as with the Apple Watch. It falls into two
Whenever Siri sasses me, as she is frequently wont to do, my rejoinder is inevitably that of Linus, as spoken to his femme fatale, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Jezebel was the evil wife of king Ahab in the Old Testament. In II Kings, it says that her servants threw her out the window and she landed on her head.”
Just as Linus’ new love interest was intent on keeping him guessing, so Siri Apple Watch changes identities faster then Ilsa Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. (Loved this character!) Last week, Siri and her Activity Watch app went all in as psychotic personal trainer. Mr. PQ and I took some much-needed time away, reviving ourselves in the brilliant, blue-sky town of Breckenridge, CO. While Apple Watch granted me 9 minutes of heart pounding exercise for 2 hours of bear climbing up a bowl with a 40 percent grade, Mr. PQ was gifted 40 minutes just for ambling down the street to the local coffee shop. 12 minutes for a 3-hour rigorous ascent of Baldy Mountain, while Mr. PQ received 10 minutes for commuting up the jeep trail. She keeps this up and she will not be getting an upgrade to her wardrobe compliments of our new Pad & Quill Apple Watch Bands.
Who will be getting an upgrade is my new Pad & Quill Backpack. We humped our haversacks over miles of rock and trail, ascending to the highest chairlift in North America, and they performed sublimely. My PQ backpack is now to be named my Favorite Daypack for Adventures. While I generally carry a Camelbak trail running pack, I was very happy with how my Pad & Quill pack performed in rucking my hydration and nutrition in addition to extra layers and sundries up and down the mountain
Mr. PQ has always been quite the fashion guru, his wardrobe giving render to the colorful spectrum of his personality. So, when Apple announced the release of Apple Watch he knew he must have one and he knew it needed to be accessorized with an ample array of Apple watch bands. Not unlike the Swatch Watch phenomenon of the ‘80’s, Mr. PQ would like nothing better then to sport 5 or 6 Apple Watches on his wrist, each with a unique band, although his simple sophistication mandates he wear only one watch at a time.
Problematically, once he acquired the gorgeous Milanese Loop and the Stainless Steel Link band (claiming business expense...), in addition to the black Sport Band that accompanied his original purchase, he felt he had run into a dead end. Being all about full grain leather and artisan design, sadly, the Apple leather band offerings did not rise to his level of discriminating taste. Thankfully, his hopes and dreams were not to be dashed upon the rubbage pile of knock offs and inferior craftsmanship, because we know artisans trained in the art of Italian Leather craft. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation Italian leather tannery artisan who uses legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American Steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.
[caption id="attachment_2342" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Apple Watch Band in British Tan with polished black hardware[/caption]
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“Mom, there’s an app that let’s you track your poop, you can even categorize it by type. What stinks though is that they have nowhere to report the smell.” An ironic pun there and one of the many things I’ve learned from my kids this summer. I’ve also learned, that, “dirt is a natural way to keep your hair clean; it absorbs the oils.” Never mind the mud slick on your scalp.
Our US Women’s National Team won the World Cup, taking home the gold and not much else, hopefully FIFA will address that whole pay inequity thing before my grand babies begin to play the Beautiful Game, I look forward to many more July’s with no voice.
We have launched our new line of leather backpacks and leather briefcases. Very timely as we set off to explore everything from the north shore of Minnesota to the fourteeners of Colorado. One of the many great things about owning your own company is that you can make backpacks that perfectly suit your own lifestyle. Then you get to spend a weekend shooting video and you get to thank god that you didn’t drive over Mr. PQ when the awesome photographer, Corey, keeps urging you to get a little closer to the Triumph with the FJ Cruiser. Perched on the tailgate, Corey was intent on getting the perfectly tight shot and I was intent on not cashing in Mr. PQ’s life insurance policy. We wed our two intents and the final product was infinitely better then this: (either picture of the bike car or link to bike car)
Next on the agenda, Pad & Quill leather Apple Watch bands. Which is great because
Mr. PQ forwarded an article to me that was written by a fellow early adopter, he thought it was insightful and humorous. The author offered some simple, straightforward advice regarding how to introduce one’s friends and coworkers to the wonder that is the Apple Watch. As I still wrestle daily against the Activity Target of Tyranny, driven to complete all three circles every 24 hours, the haptic tapping of impatience becoming yet one more voice of “I need” and “I want” amongst a cacophony of voices, I probably am not the model spokesperson.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the breakdown of data in the Health app, and I’ve figured out how to skip around to my favorite Miranda Lambert songs while running, so yea me. However, I can’t escape the feeling of being shackled to the modern world. So I’ve done what so many others in captivity have done before, I’ve succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome. That’s the only explanation I can offer for why, on a gorgeously sunny day, I sat inside watching the bulk of the keynote speech of the Apple WWDC (World-Wide Developer Conference). I actually caught myself “oohing” when they announced that Apple Watch would do that thing that will make the Watch operate faster. Fantastic! Mr. PQ and I are in a race as to who will learn a second language faster: him learning enough spanish to order his own coffee at Starbucks or me learning to speak techno-geek. Being that he runs on caffeine, I’m guessing he might be more motivated.
I’m highly motivated to finish my work in time to join the youngest Quill at the midnight showing of Jurassic World. Chris Pratt is awesome, and the fact that
It’s dainty, like me.
If you ever want to achieve an epic eye roll from your kid, throw out a thought that is so patently absurd they can’t help but drop the full frontal eye roll. Mr. PQ, being the Apple geek that he is, waited in the wee hours of the morning, in the virtual line that was Apple Watch pre-order, to stake our claim on the time piece(s). In spite of my not so subtle hints, “Boy, I love the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle” he ordered 42mm Apple Watches with a variety of bands. Because the band and the stand are where it’s at for accessory companies like Pad and Quill. Bless his heart, he thought Mrs. PQ wouldn’t be able to stretch her arm far enough to read the 38mm variety without her cheaters, clearly he underestimates the reach of a mother’s arms, in spite of watching The Incredibles with the Quills any number of times. In an effort to convince him, we sojourned to our local Apple Store where I fitted myself with the Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle that I was coveting, and voila! I could read the face sans optical correction. So, Mr. PQ jumped back into the virtual line and placed an order, and we waited. More precisely, I waited. It’s hard to explain when an inorganic object makes an impression on your psyche so intense that you shun all internal norms and await impatiently for the all important “announcement” text which trumpets, “your Watch is in transit”!! While normal Apple technology releases often feel like one more shackle of constraint tying me to the modern world while screaming of my ineptitude at adaptation in all things technical, I had fallen in love with the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle. I can’t explain, I just know I love it.
The Watch arrived yesterday and was unveiled by one of the Quills as we drove through an epic summer
Item One: The youngest Quill received his Apple Watch last Friday amidst great fanfare and excitement. I was given explicit instructions to pick him up from school, bring the Watch with all packaging intact and bring a knife to facilitate opening. As Mr. PQ has been visiting our design folks south of the border, he requested a video and Face Time presence for the grand unveiling. If there were any more geekdom going on in my car at that moment I believe it would have permanently smelled like Taco Bell and all night gaming sessions. I have to admit, affection from a 14 year old boy can be hard to come by, especially when they are in the public arena, so it does this mama’s heart good to feel the haptic heart rate of my kid pulse against my wrist, and he sends it routinely and serendipitously.
Item Two: We will be staging a contest to see who can load more Apple Watch Apps to their watch. The tie breaking round will consist of creative artistic expression utilized in app layout. Mr. PQ currently has a Christmas tree of euphoria on his wrist. Extra coupon love to those who post an Instagram of their own creations. #applewatchart (you need to add @PQ handle for Instagram)
Item Three: I cannot wait to get my hands, or in this case wrist, on the new leather straps we are designing for Apple Watch. I love the sport band for it’s utility, but we are heading into the hell furnace that is Minnesota summer and I find the sport watch keeps my wrist sweating working out and other wise. The supple feel of leather tanned by craftsmen who quite possibly geek out more about leather craft over generations of family members then my boys geek out about their electronics, is appealing at multiple levels.
It’s the great thing about Apple, they keep proprietary the things they need to, while valuing what other companies bring in terms of value to their products.
Wednesday night either is or is not the grand finale episode of the television series Supernatural, and because our teenage daughter speaks in code, I may never quite discern what prompted the flurry of texts that pulsed through my Apple Watch this afternoon. So I called. “Mom I’m going to my friend’s house to watch the big finale of Supernatural”. Ok that is fine, does this mean the show is ending? “Yes, well no, well there is a season 11 but… oh mom it’s complicated. Can you bring me…?” Being the operational person that I am, I have learned to have the quills text me whenever they require a list of things and the list exceeds my two item memory capacity, I suggested the kid send me a list. “Mom, it’s simple, I need my Supernatural shirt, it has wings on the back and it’s in my room. And I need my Supernatural blanket, it’s on my bed, oh, and I need the little guy with the big black eyes on my shelf, it’s the finale so I’d better go all in.” The stress of this request made me realize that this was the grand finale not because it was the end of the show, but it was the end of this weekly meeting of friends to watch the show as they are all headed in separate directions to college this fall. Sentiment overwhelmed my aversion to entering my teenage children’s rooms and I initiated a hunt for the “simple” list. The blanket was easy, because it’s big. Digging around for the shirt underscored the reminder that I need to change my bank account password. This kid has a lot of clothes and I believe that is a direct correlation to the fact that she knows how to transfer “gas” money into her checking account. Daily she departs for school with a “you look cute today, where did you get that shirt?” “Oh this? I’ve had this forever.”