Sometimes it takes three times to sink in. I’m not sure why. Maybe the number three is magical or something. Maybe it has to do with me being slow to “get it.” Regardless, for a number of things in my life that I really enjoy, it took three encounters before I decided to commit and try them in the first place.
An example, you ask? I give you the iPhone.
I remember hearing about the iPhone around the time of its initial release in 2007. I was dismissive at first. Who would spend that much on a phone?
It caught my attention again when the second version, which added 3G connectivity, came out a year later. I researched a bit more and remained dismissive. I had a flip phone that made phone calls just as well, I had an iPod that perfectly met all of my musical needs, and I kept a navigation device in my car that got me wherever I needed to go. No iPhone wanted here!
In the late fall of 2008, though, I had my third encounter. On this occasion, my law school friend Andrew sat down next to me in class and showed me the new gadget he had acquired. He pulled up Google Earth on his iPhone and showed me the bird’s eye view of the building we were sitting in. I gave him my parents’ address back home and he pulled that up next.
I was floored. I realized in that moment how remarkable it was that one device could access that kind of information, while also playing music, placing phone calls, and providing navigation in the real world. That was the day I became an iPhone convert.
I had another one of those “power of three” moments recently. About a year ago, my uncle Phil told me about the app Flipboard. Phil is one of the most voracious readers I know, and he genuinely loves the experience of learning. He told me that it was an excellent way for him to follow along with different types of news. I told him I would check it out, but failed to follow through (sorry Phil!).
A few months ago, my brother-in-law Alex mentioned it to me as well. I told him that I’d heard about it and needed to download it. I actually did this time, and I had every intention to try it out. Alas, it was forgotten again and went untouched on my phone (sorry Alex!).
Two weeks ago, my sister-in-law Whitney asked me what were the best sources for staying informed on environmental issues. That jogged my memory, and I told her that I had heard that Flipboard was a solid news aggregation app. Right at that moment, I opened the app and created an account. I’ve used it every day since, following subjects like “Climate Change,” “Sustainability,” and “Clean Technology.”
In the coming weeks, I plan to write about some of the cool environmental things I’ve discovered on Flipboard. Give it a try yourself, if you like. And remember, if you don’t like it at first, give it a couple more tries. It turns out the third time can be the charm.