Making Tech Decisions

As business owners we make a lot of decisions.

Decisions come in all shapes and sizes.
One minute it can be a decision about Accounting.
The next about Sales.
Oh, and let's not forget Operations.

But when it comes to tech in your business many business owners struggle.
While the reasons may vary - it’s interesting to note - that the approach to making decisions with your tech are no different.

You see, the right frame of reference is worth 50 IQ points.
Meaning that - when you re-frame your tech decisions - they become clearer.
Decisions can then be made based on elements you're familiar with like productivity and growth.
With a little frame of reference change you can embrace the tech decisions in your business and face them head on. 
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Ride Of Your Life

So I'm heading into the office today and what do I see?
A guy on a skateboard holding onto the back of a truck.
Mind you this is going down Main Street around 30 miles an hour.
Not the wisest move but I'm sure he's enjoying the thrill.

We all seek excitement in one form or another.
And some people are more willing to face danger than others.

Managing the tech in your business should not be a white knuckle experience.
Ideally it should be like a good round of golf.

Tech Brain Power

As society progresses and regresses all at the same time it's not hard to see its effect on us humans.

The average person reads something like 19 minutes a day.
The average attention span on a social media post is down to around three seconds.

Where has all the brainpower it gone?
When it comes to business many people seem to stay inside of their heads.

Communication written or verbal seems to be at an all time low.
Awe heck! I'm just being dramatic.
The point is - When it comes to the tech in your business - You need to focus your attention.

It's not like a Facebook post where you can click Like and move on. 
It's not like an Instagram post where you just tap a heart and move on.
Getting the tech right in your business requires a conversation.
It requires collaboration.
It requires communication.
You can't get better at something if you don't give it your full attention.
Think about that.
Think about the tech in your business.
Get in the room with someone and figure out the best path to move forward.
Figure out a plan that makes sense for you.

It will require some of your attention.
But it'll be worth it.

If You're Going To Lead Then Lead

I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday and he said something so fast and so quickly that I almost missed it.
Then my Spidey sense went off and I hit rewind on the video.
He said - The reason people take a job is because they're looking for a leader.

While it's a very simple truth it holds a lot of meaning. 

I then got to thinking of the responsibility and duty as a leader in a business.
We can feel frustrated when people don't meet our expectations.
Even if we're crappy expectation setters.

We live in a world of followers and leaders.

So if you're going to lead - then lead. 

Learn all things about leadership.
Make it your quest to be a great leader.
Teach, inspire and grow yourself and those around you.
If you’re going to lead then lead.

We're Not Enterprise

I've worked for a Fortune 10 Enterprise company.
Five years of my life.

In that time I rose quickly into the ranks of leadership and management.

Needless to say - I know a thing or two about Enterprise IT.

Many IT companies will tell you that they provide Enterprise IT to small businesses.
They sell the concept that your small business can have all of the things that Enterprise IT has for a low monthly fee.

But it's a flawed thought.
Your small business is a small business.
You're quick and you’re nimble.
Likely you were tired of the man keeping you down and so you started a small business.

You were tired of the drama.
You were tired of the politics.
You were tired of all the red tape.
And so you left.

Your small business is not Enterprise.

Sure there are good things about Enterprise IT.
But many of those good things are just common sense.
Practices that you should have in your business regardless if you’re big or small.

Enterprise IT is about control and compliance.
Enterprise IT scales by saying no not yes.
Try and get your head around that one.
So next time someone says we sell Enterprise IT for the small business - ask them how that's a good thing for you.
And then sit back and listen.
The words policy and procedure are the tools of Enterprise IT.
They smell of command and control.
My business is American. 
It is freedom.
It requires a new type of IT management.
Get your tech right.

Baling Wire And Duct Tape

So I was helping out a new client yesterday.
The one with the dirty cloud.
It's amazing to see how other people put things together.

The things you can build with baling wire and duct tape are amazing. -jk

You can take a few wires, a couple of pieces of network gear and viola! you have a network.

It's almost that easy.
And then it's not.
There are also standards and principles that must be followed when putting things together.

There is a method to the madness.

When you're using baling wire and duct tape you're likely not using the right tools for the job.

Imagine your company has 20 people, all professionals, generating millions of dollars a year in revenue.

It seems a little off that you would be operating without a sound structure.
But it's a very common reality.
I enjoy helping people and businesses see the light.
When you're out on the farm you make do with what you have.
When you're running a business. Time is money.
Ditch the baling wire and duct tape and invest in the right tools.
You'll be happy you did.

Dirty Clouds

A few years back the word cloud was being thrown around like it was going out of style.
People talk about public cloud, private cloud, personal cloud - all sorts of clouds.
Quite frankly it was cloud overload.
A bunch of IT companies at the time decided to get into the cloud space and make some money.
A typical company would buy a few servers, rent some space in the data center and start selling services to would be clients.

This month I've ran into a few of these scenarios with new clients.
It's not pretty what these providers have done.
Quite frankly they're dirty clouds.
Scratch that.  It's more like murky water.
And I so I'm off to help a client climb out of of their dirty cloud.

There's a lot of bad tech out there.

Isn't it time you got your tech right?

I'm No Tech Psychic

I'm not psychic.
I don't know when your computer is going to break.
I don't know when your Internet is going to go down.
I don't know how long it will be before your battery backup will die.

The only advice I can offer is to have a plan.
To replace stuff on a regular basis.
And to maintain your investments in tech.

Life Cycle Management - It's really important.
It should be part of your business planning.
You do Life Cycle Management with your cell phone don't you?
You know, you keep upgrading to a newer model...
There's a new iPhone on the horizon.
Bet you’ll do the upgrade.
Treat the tech in your business the same way.
You'll be glad you did.

Get Your Tech On Tap

Cider just tastes better from the tap.
Angry Orchard Cider just tastes better on tap.

I don't know why.
My friend says everything just tastes better on tap.

So then why do people drink from bottles and cans?
Bottles and cans are a good approximation of what you can get on tap.
And for many that’s good thing.

When it comes to the tech in your business.
There are good approximations.
And then there's the real thing.
You know a good thing when you have it.
There is no mistaking quality.
There is no mistaking professionalism.
There is no mistaking greatness.
There ain't nothing like the real thing.
Seek for greatness in all that you do.
You’ll be happier if you do.
Get your tech right.

I Can't Quit My Cloud Provider

I consider myself somewhat of a free spirit.

I like to come and go as I choose.

Nowhere does this hold more true than with online cloud services.

Sure, companies make the signup process quick and easy.

But cancelling service seems to be a whole different ball game.

When it comes to online services my message to everyone is to - just let me go.

Here's the point.

If you design an online service please make it easy for people to leave.
Yes. Let people go.

Customer experience doesn't end when people sign up.

Customers experience never ends.

Why create a pathway out of your service that closes the door on the way back?

Seriously, If I have to call somebody or spend my time trying to get away from your service - believe me - I'm not coming back.

Here's the thing.

There are many situations where I've had to cancel a service only to come back to the service later.

One of the reasons I came back was because we parted on good terms.

When I recommend an online app to someone - You bet I'm recommending the ones that will let you go easily.
If you love someone set them free.
Customer experience never ends.