'Run Forest, Run!' and MyPod for MyPad to Increase MySpace

By Peter Bernstein May 21, 2012

Dark Shadows, the new Tim Burton film, channels the campiness of my favorite 1960s gothic soap opera quite satisfactorily. It got me nostalgic about two films: 

  • Forrest Gump, the 1995 Oscar winner for Best Picture, featured a fictional slow-witted Alabama man whose journey through the 1960s through 1980s in the U.S. was chronicled with ample real news footage, interspersed to put him as the improbable enabler of several major events of the time, including the Watergate scandal. It took on a timeless cultural icon status, based on its universal message of respect, tolerance and unconditional love.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the 1955 sci-fi movie, was the first really augmented reality I ever experienced. The picture is about pod people who come to Earth as spores in pods, similar to pea pods. They are here to exhaust all life forms by becoming replicas of humans without human emotions, before moving on to another planet. The original movie ends ambivalently. The main character, a human, stands on a highway seeking help from anyone who will listen about the lurking danger. It is left to our imagination as to whether anyone will listen or will care before it’s too late. 

These two movies were mostly about events in the great outdoors. This got me to wondering about what if they were each remade and tweaked with a little modern technology. 

Forrest Gump gets a running app

Forrest Gump was so popular that a few of its spoken lines became fixtures of popular culture to this day. “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get’,” is the most famous. However, I am fond of his answer to his army lieutenant’s question/order about whether he had found Jesus. Forrest answers, “I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.” 

It also spawned a cottage industry, based on the part in the movie where Forrest does his customary run out of his driveway, but instead of stopping, just keeps running across the country. He gathers news and fan interest as he goes. There were “Run Forrest Run” posters and bumper stickers. Google it – most have realized the popularity. And, surprise – there are actual RUNS. And as Google's first few pages of image results probably indicates, there are even parodies.

I will always relish when Forrest learns how to play table tennis (aka, ping pong) and leads the team that President Nixon sent to the Republic of China to defrost relations. As a young man I beat my friend, the late Glen Cowan, who became the #1 ping pong player in the U.S. and led our team in China. I should add we were 11 years-old and that I could only beat him for a few weeks when he first got his table. He quickly got too good. However, that is me. The rest of the country loves that running thing as much if not more than Forrest himself. This got me to thinking about what the impact a remake could have if Forrest an app like RunKeeper.  He could have been the leader of a movement. 

In fact, in line with my previous article about the need for an Ellen Degeneres led smartphone/tablet app to get up, get our and dance to keep fit when you are at the office, Forrest could have had a field day with this. The site is a virtual cornucopia of incredibly useful capabilities:

  • Nearby activities not just for running but for cycling and walking
  • Online training for short races to marathons
  • The ability to create your own team
  • Links to a treasure trove of other fitness apps
  • Tracking, tracking and more tracking to keep you, friends and teammates, not just on course but physically fit as well.

The last may be a deterrent since people may not wish to share their inactivity or lack of progress, but for those who are not shy or need the encouragement that can only come from massive support, this is Forrest’s box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get, but it is worth a bite to see what is inside.

Of Pods and Pads

After you are done with all of that running, you’re probably going to want to check into your home office. You might even want to have your team over for a meeting. Alas, you do not have a home office. The place you call home does not have a suitable space with the privacy and accoutrements you need to feel comfortable consistently using it as a true office. And, you likewise don’t have a room to hold a private meeting, especially one with a group of profusely sweating people. The good news is you are in luck. If you have a backyard, even a small one, UK-based OfficePOD can make you a pod person. In fact, hopefully one that makes incredible use of outer space without the need to become an alien.  

I know live in an apartment but after looking at the OfficePOD gallery of personal outside offices, meeting rooms and rooms you can design and create to fit your needs, it makes me wonder why I spent so much time and money blowing out my previous home’s backyard with an attachment to our laundry room and garage. I could have snuggled into an OfficePOD.

Plus, if you peruse the company’s site, these things by ending commutation and expensive electrification of a centralized office are incredibly environmentally friendly. They come with power and heating and have an optional capability for air conditioning for warmer climes. All of this for what starts at a base price of roughly $19,000 plus the UK VAT. 

As someone who worked out of a real home office for years in looking at the OfficePOD products, I think they should think about: making them a bit higher to safely accommodate a good overhead fan, having the folks who make the popular Magic Mesh instant screen door product make one for the pods to keep out insects and let in pet dogs, tinting the windows to prevent glare and over-heating in very hot and sunny places, ensure they can easily integrate solar panels. They should also put them on wheels so they can be easily moved. The company says they are easy to assemble and disassemble but why do so if all I want is to move it a few feet?

I then want them to give me the franchises for Southern California, Texas and Florida. Hopefully, those aliens of the moving and storage industry with their pods don’t beat me to the punch. A MyPod for MyPad. This is a business Forrest would run a long distance to be part of.    

Edited by Braden Becker
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