Making Life Easy

Making Life Easy

With the proliferation of digital content and devices you'd think that we'd all be in control freak Nirvana - a place where we can access any content anytime, anywhere and...

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 16 june 2005

With the proliferation of digital content and devices you’d think that we’d all be in control freak Nirvana – a place where we can access any content anytime, anywhere and anyway we want it: tunes reflecting our mood broadcast wirelessly, TV providing that latest reality through our monitors, multiple controls for the ambiance of our tiny apartment.

Whilst electronic manufacturers seem to forge ahead to create a myriad of devices, options and formats there are signs of a counter-revolution. Sprouting up through the cracks in our polished white devices are services designed to make life easy: little helpers to let you get on with your busy life.

One of the strongest signals of this counter revolution is the current nostalgia for the mixtape (and the subsequent 2005 versions available through the web). You can’t open a low quantity, high quality hipster magazine without a writer recounting their memories of a time where they made, borrowed and bought mixes of the latest tunes on cassette. There are reminders of mixtape cutlure everywhere – even Beck’s wearing a T Shirt emblazoned with a cassette in this month’s Wired!

Mixtapes were (and still are) collections of tunes that people connected to, tunes that created sub-cultures: electro-freaks, suburban hip-hop aspirers, dub dancefloor shufflers. A time where people used music to create individual identities through the work of others. Thurston Moore has just published a book on the subject that "takes a nostalgic look at that most humble vehicle of adolescent expression."

Now, we have almost immediate access to any digital content any time, do we really want to be making the decisions for ourselves? We’ve got enough to do – we want to make life easy. We want to flick a single switch to control all our in-home lighting – not have a console that slips down the back of our sofa.

Today we see websites offering modern versions of mixtapes – we know of a couple of underground sites run by music professional that offers CDs on a monthly basis. Tiny Mix Tapes offers iTune lists along certain themes. PSFK has also learned of one Canadian start up that plans to create a system that analyzes your music library and creates song selections each day.

‘Making Life Easy’ doesn’t stop with music. is a Singapore-based company that offers an application to help you create edited movie files on your PC or phone. You just give their application a number of clips, some music and then the app uses reprogrammed algorithms to combine and edit the clips and blast out a ten second clip. It works so well, Nokia is using it in their phones.

And yes, digital technology has sprouted this phenomenon of the hyper-user – people who take existing content and mash it up to create something new. But some of us would like to use their mash ups rather than create them ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, Making Life Easy is not about being lazy. It’s about making an informed choice. And it’s not for late-adopters either. It’s for early adopters, folk who fall into Godin’s definition of the Digital Digerati. You need to know what you get from technology before you decide to delegate. 

It’s happening everywhere for everything – even you are ‘Making Life Easy’ right now … why do you think you’re reading PSFK rather than researching this yourself? ;)


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Innovation Today

After The Initial Success Of AR Gaming, What Does The Future Hold?

With Pokemon GO earning up to $10m a day, R&D departments are busy searching for the next phase

Arts & Culture Today

The Next Great Art Movement Will Come At The Swipe Of A Finger

An improved app, optimized digital display and monthly art discovery service round out Electric Objects' renewed commitment to democratizing the art world


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Today

A TV Streaming Service Is Designed Just For Kids

Toca TV is a new platform offering thousands of original and curated children's videos for a monthly subscription fee

Travel Today

Bus Stop Transformed Into A Fitness Station For Commuters

Sports drink company Lucozade live-streamed an athletic trainer working out at a stop in Manchester to encourage travelers to get moving

Related Expert

Jack Dorsey

Social Networks, Payments

Technology Today

Shiseido And Microsoft Have Created A Makeup Filter For Women Who Telecommute

The Japanese cosmetic company built an augmented reality app that works alongside Skype for Business

Mobile Today

Samsung Is Using AR To Help Beachgoers Stay Safe

Pocket Patrol utilizes a phone's camera to promote beach safety and educate people about hidden hazards

Design & Architecture Today

500 Plastic Chairs Used To Create A Recyclable Pavilion

Design agency CODA built a grandoise art piece from simple lawn furniture


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

PSFK Labs Today

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Retail Today

Exchange Your Old Razors For New Ones At This Bartershop

The subscription-based shaving company lets customers trade their unwanted razors for Harry's brand steel at a temporary New York pop-up

Food Today

A Brewer Has Created The Most Expensive Chips To Snack On

St. Eriks Brewery created crisps made from rare mushrooms to go with its artisan beer, donating all proceeds to charity

Op-Ed Today

Marketing Experts: Millennials And The Power Of Cool

'Good Is The New Cool' Authors Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones share their 7 principles for branding with a social impact

Travel Today

Melbourne Hotel Lets Guests Stay In Their Own Chrome Airstream Trailers

Notel is a luxury rooftop with six guest rooms made from vintage 1970s mobile homes

Sustainability Today

Swedish Citizens Get A Tax Break For Repairing Old Goods

A sustainability initiative encourages people to fix, rather than replace, broken objects

Fitness & Sport Today

How Precision Data Can Make Anyone A Better Performer

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytic tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Home Today

You Can Now Buy Furniture From A Daytime TV Show

Home furnishing online retailer Wayfair is partnering with Lifetime to create a shoppable life improvement television program

No search results found.