Late in 2009, I woke up in a panic. I dreamt that one of my grandkids (I have no grandkids) asked me, "Hey Opa, what did you do during the Great Recession?" I didn't like the answer I had in my mind, which is why the dream impacted me so profoundly.
I decided that I was responsible for my life and decided that consulting and market research in my area of expertise was dead. I was going to have to learn some new skills and technologies or die (figuratively of coure). I wanted to write iPhone apps, and promptly bought a book about writing iPhone apps for dummies. These were good for me because they're a paint-by-numbers style. If you follow their method, line by line, you will get working code.
Of course the downside is that you will get the app they're thinking of, and not the app you are thinking of. So afternoon finishing one Dummies book, I bought a second and a third and a fourth... all to help me write apps for iPhone.
Then, in early 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. This new device class would change everything. I bought books about writing for iPad, and bought an iPad for myself. Powerful stuff.
The big breakthrough, though, came when I integrated learning about iOS into my daily exercise routine.