Today on the podcast, I interview my good friend Marvin Raab, who is doing some pretty amazing stuff with all things Bridge. Marvin is an avid board and card gamer with a collection of over 250 games in his living room and recently discovered Bridge as an avenue to increase his social circle. He relocated to Las Vegas in 2014 after 26 years in Silicon Valley.
When not thinking about how to start the best bridge club on the west coast, he’s the IT Manager for a startup in the SF Bay Area and is the owner of Genarian Tech, a one-man tech consulting company where he provides on-demand support to small businesses and individuals all over Las Vegas and the country.
Marvin and I have been at four startups together so we have been through some tough times together. Right now, he’s into the card game Bridge and is trying to bring all his bridge friends online to play.
I consider Marv an expert in "genarian" technology or how all those silver surfers use technology and the internet. This is especially important now that we have to be physically distant from each other and a lot of our socializing is online. This is particularly hard for seniors since they are used to getting together -- especially if they play bridge.
We talk a lot about Bridge and the challenges he has seen getting the older generation to use technology and play online. In particular, some of the assumptions that we Gen-Xers make about simple things like how to use a mouse, browser, or even right-clicking can be a challenge for seniors.
I always like talking with Marv and this conversation is a great one to understand how the older generation is handling shelter in place, what opportunities there might be, and why you should play bridge.
Now, let’s get better together.
Actions to Try or Advice to Take
- Patience is an important trait to have when dealing with folks that don’t understand technology as well as you do.
- Bridge is a large part of some older people’s lives. For some, it’s their only source of community and connection.
- Poker is a lot more popular than Bridge and the main reason is probably the complexity of Bridge and the fact that you need a partner. Marv’s trying to figure out how to make it more accessible.
- Many Bridge players don’t have smartphones or if they have a smartphone, they don’t know how to use it. A large part of what Marv has done is to educate them on how to use technology to do things online.
- The challenge in getting older people online is many don’t have computers. Some have smartphones or just tablets.
- For Bridge, you must have a partner. This provides a unique challenge for online playing because some partners don’t want to play online.