Category Archives: Business
Management Through Technology
We have a saying at VCI – “It’s always a communication problem.” Over ten years in the driver’s seat of a tech firm, I’ve found that communication issues are the root of most problems. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an internal problem (staff/HR) or external (customer, vendor) it nearly always comes down to someone’s communication failure. Communication involves both the sender and receiver – and there’s a responsibility on both ends. Effective management is primarily about effective communication.
Don’t Feel Bad, Most People Don’t Know These Facts About Websites
A couple of weeks ago I was invited in to speak to the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce. The topic – “What You Didn’t Know About Having a Website.” It was a quick discussion, but it was clear from the questions that we could have scheduled much more time. Between SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media, paid advertising, web hosts and more… there’s a lot to talk about. Since the discussion went so well, I thought I’d share my notes.
Technology Disaster Plan Template
A number of people have asked me to post my template for disaster planning with businesses. Here are the scenarios that I always address. There may be more specific to your business, but this is a good exercise for ALL organizations.
The Financial Gamble that was the Facebook IPO
You’re probably aware of the recent Facebook IPO. I sit writing this midway through the second day of trading. It’s down nearly 10% from the IPO price. Yikes!
I’ve been very public about my feeling that Facebook was overvalued. $100+ billion for a business that has such small (proportional) revenue doesn’t make sense. This is the internet, and assuming that Facebook has time to grow into a behemoth that will justify that valuation ignores the history of the internet. The internet is still new, and there’s always something better around the corner. After all, Facebook dethroned MySpace, which everyone assumed was the be-all, end-all of social. It will happen to Facebook, someday.
We’re in a time when Facebook is facing backlash, in part due to its’ size. There’s always a curse associated with being the big player in an industry. It seems that human beings always want to root for the underdog, and Facebook is certainly not an underdog. Now that they’re public, it will be interesting to see if they can react as quickly as they have in the past. Sure, Mark Zuckerberg maintains a controlling stake in the company, but he now has investors and a board of directors to answer to.
Some have speculated that we’re in another “bubble” of overvalued tech stocks, much as in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, I’m one of them. I’m afraid that things will change dramatically as of Facebook’s first earnings report. At such a large valuation, Facebook will be under great pressure – and great expectations – to start making money. A public company of their size won’t be able to ramp up the revenue as quickly as a small, private one could. I’m afraid this will leave many investors disappointed. This disappointment may drag down the whole sector. It could hurt the entire economy.
If there’s anything rosy in this it’s that I’m not a licensed or accredited anything when it comes to investing. I might be wrong, and part of me hopes I am. Either way, it will be exciting to watch what happens with Facebook over the next three to six months.
Dual Monitors are Better than One
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of things in the tech industry change. Most things have gotten bigger, faster and cheaper, but those changes rarely result in increased productivity. The biggest exception is in the use of dual monitors. I believe that utilizing two monitors on every desk is the best return on investment a business can make.
I love technology. I also hate it.
I talk to people every day that are dismayed by how quickly things change. It seems that as soon as you settle on a new technology purchase – be it phone, computer or even a music player – something new has come out. Some even say the new device makes the old one obsolete. Not only is your old device not obsolete, I’m here to tell you that technology doesn’t have to be so frustrating.
The Patent System is Broken (Some Might Say Very Broken)
The fringes of mainstream journalism have had a lot to say on technology patents lately. It seems that everyone that makes cell phones is in the midst of multiple lawsuits with other cell phone manufacturers. Google bought up 1000 patents from IBM in what they have termed a defensive maneuver.
Businesses Need to Shore Up Their Network Vulnerabilities
Computer and network security is one of those issues that most of our clients don’t want to talk about. Why? Because it’s scary.
The Paperless Office is a Bit Like Bigfoot
To be fair, it’s not really a myth. It can be done, but… it’s HARD! I know, computers were supposed to free us of this need to destroy trees, but you probably have more paper on your desk now than you did ten years ago. It can be really frustrating, and some of you may still want to chase that dream of a paperless office. If you want to move forward, here’s what needs to happen.