When Being Behind The Curve Can Be Smart

Written by Paul on October 11th, 2008

A BusinessWeek article points out that tech that doesn’t work won’t let us work. Well said.

Working 90% to 95% of the time is not working. When my company’s services fail to deliver, we don’t get paid—and our customers get angry. When a technology product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do all the time, we’re stuck. Unfortunately, the technology my company buys fails way too much. But like everything else that makes me angry, I just deal with it. And so can you.

Something you should know:

  1. Technology sucks. Once you begin to depend on it, you’re confined by it’s inherent limitations.
  2. It won’t make you successful. That is, not unless you completely understand how it will help your business.

What Great Businesses Do

Have you noticed that so many successful companies are “behind” on tech’s latest trends? It’s because successful businesses relentlessly focus on creating incredible value for the world. They know that once you begin worshipping technology, you switch focus from providing value and then continue going downhill from there.

The Key: Exploit tech only when you know precisely how it can help accelerate your ability to get ahead.

“So, how do you exploit technology?”

Two steps:

  1. First, embrace low-tech. Spreadsheets can single-handedly kick the asses of pretty much any of the latest gadgets out there.
  2. Then, grow outward stubbornly. Improve your systems as you go. You will know you’ve outgrown your current systems when you understand precisely how to increase your efficiency.

And dont forget: Since the beginning of time (and up until a few years ago), most businesses didn’t need completely custom technology solutions. They used paper, spreadsheets, whiteboards… you get the idea.

One Response to “When Being Behind The Curve Can Be Smart”

  • Diana D. Jarvis

    Part of the trouble is that companies buy tech they don’t understand how to use in the first place. Then they act surprised when they finally figure out the gadget wasn’t designed to do what they wanted. Or they buy software for a department, but they don’t bother to even check with that department first to find out what’s actually needed.

    — 10/15/08 at 1:27 pm

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