In our weekly column, the people who head various technology companies across the globe tell us about the gadgets and apps that they can't live without. This week, we reached out to Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Edmodo (a social network for education) Nic Borg. Here's what he had to say.
1. Describe your technology setup - what computer/ phone/ tablet/ camera/ gaming console/ other gadgets do you use?
When I first started working on Edmodo, I could never go anywhere without my black MacBook. Not long after, the iPhone was released and everything started to change. In fact, I'm writing these answers on my Motorola Droid RAZR, something I never would have done all those years ago when I had an original Motorola RAZR . That said, I still spend a lot of time on my laptop, now a silver MacBook Pro - a truly great machine.
I love trying to be the first person to test new Edmodo production releases, so I never go far without my iPod Touch and iPad Mini. The iPad Mini has also become my primary device for media consumption, and I pretty much use it as the greatest television remote ever made when it is paired with my Apple TV.
2. What are three apps (mobile/ tablet or PC/ Mac) you couldn't live without?
The list is way longer than three, but what is always most important to me is connectivity and continuity. For connectivity, nothing beats my WiFi hotspot app of choice - FoxFi.
With the rise of the cloud and increasing 4G coverage, lots of apps are starting to do fantastic things to provide continuity. In fact, continuity was one of the primary reasons why Edmodo became so popular - finally there was a coherent way to access learning both in and outside the classroom, on any device.
For my personal use, apps like Kindle allow me to pick up any of my gadgets and continue reading my current literary pursuit right where I left off.
Lastly, the progenitor of all modern continuity and the app I absolutely couldn't live without is my web browser. I'm constantly bouncing between IE, Safari, Firefox, etc. - but when it comes to true continuity and performance across all of my devices, Chrome is ultimately where I spend the most time.
3. What is one gadget (other than your phone) you never travel without?
Foundational to connectivity and continuity is the lifeblood of all gadgets - power. Anytime I'm travelling, I always carry a fully charged external battery.
4. What is your dream gadget/ technology setup?
I love purpose-built devices that fuse hardware and software, and I'm not a fan of strange hybrids, like the fabled refrigerator-toaster. That's why continuity is so important. In a future where the terms "computer" and "connected" will be thoroughly commoditised, my dream setup is one where identity, content and activities follow me from object to object providing transparent continuity. These objects would also have such low power consumption that battery life would become a non-issue (you did ask for a "dream" setup).
5. How has technology changed the way in which you work?
In a tech start-up, you are not only trying to invent how people will work tomorrow but are also constantly leveraging the rapid evolution of hardware and software around you in order to maintain maximum velocity. That means that technology is changing the way you work everyday - it has to if you want to be able to create the next change. Sometimes in deceptively small ways - like an app that makes scheduling meetings frictionless - other times in massively disruptive ways - like when a new category of devices is introduced that expands how we use technology in our lives. I will never forget when the iPad was unveiled and immediately knowing that it would forever change how people thought about technology at work and, most importantly for Edmodo, in the classroom.
At the same time that start-ups are the ones driving forward the cutting edge of progress, the change they bring is what provides the foundation and impetus for more start-ups to follow. As a result, change is always accelerating - it is a great time to be alive!For more of our Personally Tech stories, click here.