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Users and makers

June 10, 2009

As people go, I can see how we are either users or makers.

A user takes something, a car for instance, and uses it. He doesn’t ask how the car works, and neither does he care to know. What’s important to him is that the car starts as it should in the morning and works as advertised. Thinking any more about it is just, well, thinking too much. Only stupid people think too much.

A maker wonders what’s under the hood, what makes it go and what makes it break. He wants to understand so that he can vision up, and hopefully some day make, a better car. So he asks all these questions that the user believes only stupid people ask.

And you know what’s hilarious? Seeing these two types sitting at the same table having dinner. The user is irritated that the maker asks questions that he thinks are best left alone. The maker is irritated that the user doesn’t care for a component that could very well leave him (the user) stranded in the middle of nowhere.

I notice this in blogosphere too. There are blogs that concern themselves only on what’s the best thing to eat, see or buy. And then there are blogs that spend all its time talking about how things work – the things that the users fawn over, and also why users behave the way they do. The user chastises the maker for thinking too much, and the maker gets irritated at the user’s disinterest at something that could one day screw him over.

I can see that 80-90% of bloggers are users, which is about right considering that 80-90% of us are outright consumers. We are more or less led by what our advertiser-influenced peers tell us to desire. I tell ya, its nice to let big brother do the thinking for us and leave us to ponder the real questions in life, like what to have for dinner or what shirt to buy.

No, I’m not saying that being a consumer-blogger is bad. The truth is, I think both the user and maker need each other. The user would have nothing to buy if the maker didn’t ask deep questions and “think too much.” Nothing terrifies a consumer more than empty store shelves right? And the maker? He too needs the user because it is the user that gives him his self esteem, that his creations do make a positive difference in other people’s lives. (I think musicians and artists will dig this.)

So to the user – there’s nothing weird or freaky about the maker and his deep questions. To the maker – there’s nothing stupid about the user shrugging off your questions. The hard fact is, you two can’t live without each other so try not to throw things at each other.

Me… I’m a user, maker, and keen observer of the dynamics between the two.

Btw, that 3rd part is the hardest becoz the user and maker would often end up throwing things at me. 😀

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2009 1:19 pm

    Depends on topics i think. When it comes to politics, i don’t like to ask how, why, etc. Too tiresome to even think about it – the IT being the hopelessness. LOL.

    for others, i prefer to be the maker and yes, i do need the users. Otherwise, i’ll be creating stuff for my own usage and thus not contributing anything to the society. 🙂

    Oh, but for those makers who tend to ask too much, i’ll just shut them out from my mind 😀 but i tend to shut myself more from the makers who are actually users (they talk stories about themselves)

    Yeah, politics is something I refuse to touch too. You are a maker of at least one category – your cartoons. And you’re probably interested in things that no one else would bother themselves with, like drawing styles and expressive techniques. Most readers (users) would prefer to just enjoy the story. Only makers are concerned with what goes on behind the scenes to create that story.

  2. June 10, 2009 2:04 pm

    i think i am a big time user..

    shit. i feel so stupid now 😦

    delete this article :p

    Actually, when you talk about appregios and improvisations in the art of shredding, you are a maker. Music fans don’t particularly care what goes on behind the scenes to produce music. They’ll say why be silly and talk about the technical aspects of music making. Why think so much. Well, that’s the difference between maker and user. So when someone tells me “don’t think so much lar…,” I usually assume they are in user mode and I am in maker mode, and the situation can flip anytime. 🙂

  3. June 11, 2009 9:06 pm

    Actually, I tend to think makers as scientists. We love to investigate the things we’re passionate about.
    “How did he do that?”, “What tool did he use?”, etc.

    True, and when you ask how did he do that, people would tell you why think so much, just enjoy life. You know, I even have people telling me that in meetings where we are supposed to extrapolate market numbers to arrive at strategic conclusions. The advise is always, “Hey dude, you’re overthinking it. Lets go have coffee.” lolz… 🙂

  4. June 13, 2009 9:29 am

    and few weeks down the road, the very same coffee guy will come back with a worried face n said “why didn’t i think of that earlier?” LOL.

    Easy, the blame the consultant i.e. me! 😀

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