When it comes to the future, you have two choices

I have read with interest and appreciation the thoughtful responses to the introduction of the iPad. If you ignore those who label individuals who disagree with them “idiots” etc., this product announcement has inspired some really smart and articulate people to explain bedrock concepts of media business models, marketplace dynamics and a wide range of conceptual, philosophical and political approaches to technology.

I won’t attempt to explain what each of these points of view are as I’m still sorting out the various shades of meaning individuals have when they use the phrases “opened” and “closed,” for example.

To people outside the bubble of technology development and content distribution, “open” is the opposite of “closed.” But for those who spend their days and nights pondering and pursuing entrepreneurial opportunity or those who have fought against the constant attempts by corporations to lock-in consumers to a proprietary channel, the words “opened” and “closed” can mean vastly different things.

As I’ve said before, I am glad the iPad is finally a reality because it gives all of us something that points to what comes next.

What comes next might be the first and second and future iterations of what the iPad will be.

Or what comes next might be the reactions to what is wrong with the iPad.

As a marketer and strategist and media experimenter — and for those marketers who choose me to help them figure out such things — I, like everyone else, have two choices.

1. I can immerse myself in the chaos of the new, trying to discover how (or if) these new devices will change the way customers (buyers, members, donors, readers, viewers, users, etc.) discover new products and create new types of markets — be they opened or closed.

2. Stand by and watch, while others slog and fight their ways through the next few years while figuring it out.

I’ve decided that for me, standing by and watching is no longer an option.

I’m not living at this incredible moment in time to spectate.