Talking Tech with Scott Berkun

Management blog hypertextual called him an idea trafficker. We dig that. Idea trafficking.


For those of you who don’t know Scott Berkun, he’s a writer and speaker who talks about ideas and how they work. His chops have been featured in numerous blogs like The Economist, The Guardian, and NPR (to name a few). He’s also written 4 books. They’re all pretty excellent.

The other day I emailed Scott out of the blue to talk tech. I hadn’t talked to him in a few months, but I love his perspective and heard he’s got a new book coming out. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to get an insight into how an author gets stuff done nowadays.

Without further ado, Scott Berkun’s tech thoughts on tech, etc.

What’s your current tech set-up?

Mac Air, Cinema display, iPhone 4S, Moleskine. [See below]


What’s your go-to mobile app? Top 5?

I don’t use apps much on my iPhone. Google Maps is easily #1. Mail, Twitter and Facebook follow. Notes too.

Favorite place to consume content?

My brain is my favorite place for content consumption. I tried other body parts, but they didn’t work so well.

Tablet or physical book for reading?

Both. I primarily read on an iPad, but I’m not picky. Both have their advantages. Kindle books are amazingly convenient. Print books feel and smell amazing.

With all your writing and tweeting, how do you manage your daily workflow? Got any cool life hacks?

I keep all systems as simple as possible. If I feel lost or overwhelmed I make a prioritized list of tasks for the day on an index card and get to work, and repeat the next day. I try to post once or twice a week but I’m not religious about it. my blogging process is described here. If I’m actively writing a book or working on a new lecture that takes top priority. Twitter just falls in naturally and I explain how I use it here.

What’s your one tech-related guilty pleasure? 

I don’t really have one. Abusing Infinite scroll on twitter might count. I don’t do much trash. Occasionally I’ll watch garbage TVlike People’s Court or Hell’s Kitchen, but I don’t watch much TV. My guilty pleasures are far more carnal.

Browser wars – where’s your loyalty and why?

I have little loyalty for software. I switched to Firefox in 2003. And to Chrome in 2009. I still use Chrome and sometimes Safari. Whatever is simple, reliable and fast usually wins for me for any kind of tool.

What tech product are you most excited about?

No tech products excite me. Well, I wouldn’t mind an iPad Mini but I don’t think about it much. None of my ambitions depend on technological progress.

To end, how about a haiku about how you feel about technology.

Moths fly near the flame

People consume whatever’s new

There’s no difference

You can find details on Scott’s new book, The Year Without Pants, out in September on Amazon. Start following Scott’s inspiring writing on his website.