Neighbor Nikki
A special kind of tech support service I started in the Fall of 2010 based on the idea that no one is too old to learn.

I was at an Apple store one day when, like my usual eavesdropping self, I overheard a conversation between a middle-aged woman and an Apple Genius. She had a problem with a Microsoft program (I think it was Word) on her iMac. Understandably, the Genius told her that she would have to contact Microsoft with her problem. As I watched the poor lady lug that iMac out of the store, I couldn't help but think to myself that she must be at a total loss as to a.) how to even get in touch with Microsoft or b.) how to explain her problem to them, and worst case scenario, c.) what to do if they tell her that the problem is with Apple, and not Microsoft.

It was obvious that there was this unmet need for a facilitator to help this woman, and many others like her; Someone who was on their side.

You could say that this is their children's job to help them, (I may be generalizing here) but from what I've observed most kids in America don't have the patience nor do they care enough to walk their parents through each step.

Their other option is the Geek Squad at Best Buy who charges an arm and a leg just to come to your house to do something as simple as setting up your printer. I can imagine (and have heard) that having the tech support of a big box business like Best Buy doesn't get you very personal or very good service.

Coming from the Philippines, where family is the center of pretty much everything, I thought I should put my patience and passion for helping people to good use. I decided to offer my services to people other than my family, and decided to charge half of what the Geek Squad charges, creating a win-win situation for both my customers and myself.

When I say this is a special kind of tech support service, I mean that my goal isn't to merely fix computers, but rather to teach and empower older people and make them realize that with a little help, they can do things they never thought they could.

Some of the questions I want to help with are:
• "I have a bunch of things I want to sell. Where can I sell it? And how? Craigslist? How do you sell something there? I need to take photos? How do I get it off my camera to Craigslist?"
• "I got a digital camera for Christmas. How do I print things the old-fashioned way with this swanky new device?" (On a related note, read my concerns here)
• Most adults who have iPhones don't know its capabilities with applications such as Google Maps. I always hear them still asking people for addresses to meeting places and phone numbers for those places. I want to reveal the magic that is Google Maps to them.

I initially thought of making a website as the first point of contact, but later abandoned that idea for a simple flyer for the reason that flyers are more a part of my target markets' everyday life than websites.

I drew this to help me plan out the tone for the flyer copy.


"I would like to highly recommend the computer wizardry of Nikki Sylianteng. I needed a time-sensitive item for a business transaction, and she solved my printer problem so quickly and accurately. And get this----My computer was in Southern California, and she did a remote fix from the Philippines in the middle of a storm down there. You will find no better service or attention to detail. I know I will use her expertise for all my teaching and business needs."
- Katherine Rios, 60, High School teacher