I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

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Mr. High Tech, High Touch

Carl Landau | August 18, 2020

I used to jokingly refer to myself as Mr. High Tech, High Touch. (There was a trending book in the '90's called High Tech, High Touch. Those who know me know how profoundly funny it is to think of me as a computer whiz.  


In 1982 (after being fired by Don Pazour at Miller Freeman Publications) I was the Advertising Director at one of the first computer magazines called Dr. Dobb's “Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia: Running Light Without Overbyte”. It was written for people that didn't buy computers--- they made them. 


I had no idea what any of the editorial content meant. But I knew how to pick up a phone and sell advertising for a magazine. I went on to start my own magazines for computer programmers with a dirty little secret — I never once during those days ever even used a computer.


Luckily for most of my career I always had an assistant that did all the more complicated computer stuff and I focused on selling. This reliance may not have been sound thinking, as I left myself a bit behind on the tech curve.


So up to current day —I have no assistant. Any tech issues come up and I've got to figure it out. And you know? I do. (You really can "Google anything"!) I've also gained a certain sense of satisfaction in figuring it all out on my own. Most importantly, I am not ashamed to ask for help when I need it. But I try to do it on my own first.


What I have learned is this simple, real world truth:  If you want to stay relevant, you need to keep up with technology. If I can embrace it, you can too!

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