Is Embracing Technology Necessary?

pexels-photo-450035The short answer to this question is yes. The rest of this blog will explain that. If you do not have any time to read this just go with yes and get back to work.

For the rest of you I will illustrate this with two companies. One is Encyclopedia Britannica and the other is a nonexistent track ball company which will not be named for reasons of impropriety.

The high-class standard for all encyclopedias since 1771 has been Encyclopedia Britannica. It started as a three-volume set and expanded from there. Back in the day changes to the content of Encyclopedia Britannica only happened every 25 or so years as changes were expensive and the clientele did not demand the latest knowledge on everything – unlike today. Most people thought that the internet lead to the demise and reshuffle of Encyclopedia Britannica. Not so. Encyclopedia Britannica knew the digital age was coming and they were preparing to embrace the technology. However, Microsoft saw a requirement for clients to access information more immediately than paging through large books and they came out with Encarta, a CD the software company launched in the early 1990s. It was not as robust nor as peer reviewed as Encyclopedia Britannica, but it did not need to be. The consumer was more interested in speed than depth, and encyclopedia sales plummeted for all companies. Encyclopedia Britannica published its last set of books in 2010, and then ceased to produce any more bound editions, opting to go online. Its non-embracement of CD technology almost led to its demise. It is still in business and can be found at https://www.britannica.com/.

The second company is more of a type than an actual company. Anyone who started playing or actually working with computers in the 90’s remembers the first mouse had an actual hard rubber ball in it that rolled around directing the pointer on your screen. Track balls have been used in industrial applications since 1946. The idea of using a mechanical hard rubber ball inside a plastic housing to detect movement and translate it into information that the computer interprets was leading edge technology for its time. Now you cannot find a mouse with a track ball underneath. The technology of producing the exact right size ball, the sensors needed to detect the rolling direction, and the housing for this has all been superseded. However, the investment that was made in some off-shore companies to make these track balls has now been lost forever.

This does not mean that you as a company should adopt the latest shiny gadget in the market as you will never keep up with the changes in the technical arena. To stay ahead of your competition, you should be advised of trends, watch for competitive advantage, and attend trade shows. A trade show is a great place to see what is coming, what is being developed, and what the trends are in your industry. And while some companies believe you can get all this information over the internet I would tell them that this is correct but not timely. The main reason for trade show attendance is to see what is coming before it becomes public knowledge so that you can make more timely decisions about adoption and the expense of buying.

There are two types of business owners in this world. The ones who have stayed ahead of their competition and the ones who have not. The choice is yours.

Choose wisely.

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