When I'm teaching, I like to get the class to consider why Apple's iPod (R) product was so successful.
The iPod was revolutionary in that it allowed us to be mobile. It conveniently offered our entire personal music library without having to haul around records, CD ROM's, or cassette tapes.
The iPod moved with us and it made us free. It made us want to dance. Well, at least that's the idea Apple wanted to project with its memorable ad line.
The success of the iPod as a technological innovation is poignant to small business in a couple of respects.
Firstly, successful tech should enable freedom of movement. The agility of a small business is enhanced with good technology and not constrained. Agility should never be compromised. If increased investments in technology force a small business to work with greater constraints that slows down processes or diminishes the consumer experience, there's no value in that implementation. Good tech lets us dance.
Secondly, successful tech should scale. Our ability to put literally thousands of songs on a tiny device speaks to the power of computing - to do more with less. If a small business invests in technology and it doesn't scale (allowing us to add more customers, transactions, content, activities, products, services, etc. without introducing additional costs), something's wrong. That's not how tech should work. All technology should provide a favorable economy of scale.
Thirdly, successful tech brings us joy. The magic of the iPod was the emotion it inspired. It allowed us to jump for joy, sprint, cry, or the power to finish a good workout. Good technology isn't just about cost savings and efficiency - good technology makes us feel. If a small business invests in technology and it inspires anger, confusion, conflict, compounds stress, or, fails to delight customers, why is it there? Why implement a tool that makes anyone feel like crap? Those feelings will only suppress adoption and effectiveness.
Mobility. Scale. Joy.
If these things aren't happening in your tech projects, we might be able to help. Give us a call.