In defense of gearheads

Apparently being a gearhead is bad. At least according to 37signals, house of featureless cool. Of course, they don't really mean it. At least I hope not. Sure, buying gear for its own sake is pointless, but if you want to build something, you need tools you care about. It's not about having the Eddie van Halen guitar/pedal/amp combination. It's about having a guitar, some pedals and an amp you know and love (or hate, any strong emotion will do).

Any activity that requires a tool requires knowing your tool. Whether it's a text editor, IDE, musical instrument, woodcutter or spatula, whatever you happen to be using is part of the process of creation. That means that at some level, they are affecting how you work. How you interact with and treat your tool, therefore influence how you create. That doesn't mean you should idealize certain tools just because they've been used in other processes, but it does mean that you should care. You should find out how your tool works and how to get the best out of it. Or if not the best, then what you want.

While the 37signals post doesn't disagree with (it's attacking people who "value gear over content"), it does not acknowledge that gear is a significant part of creating content.

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