No, I’m not going to talk about Obama. I decided to write about this after viewing the video that Cliff posted last week titled Did you Know 3.0?. That part that prompted me to write this post was when it said, “The top 10 jobs in demand in 2010 did not exist in 2004.” I thought about this statement a little more and then thought about the things that I do daily for my ebusinesses. Things like SEO, Social networking, link sales, PPC, mass article writing back in 2004 were completely unknown to me.
I had a friend who needed money ask me how to help her make some money. I told her that she could start a blog, do pay per post, do some article writing, sell some links, toss on some adsense and maybe that could get her a couple hundred a month. Everything I said was foreign to her and she is currently in college studying business and finance.
I believe that change is good and that in order to stay afloat these days that one must always thrive to learn more. I don’t believe that more technology is always better, but I think that you have to expose yourself to it and decide what’s good and bad for you.
When I first started working back in 1996, I remember a certain incident that looking back has made realize that I have been doing this ever since college. I was a site engineer for a landfill back in Chicago. That meant that I was in charge of all the landfill’s technical aspects and enviromental issues. When it rained hard, I had to go take a look at the landfill and see what the garbage mixed with rain water looked like.
I would be on the phone trying to describe the ponded water to my boss or the EPA. “Um, yeah it’s slightly cloudy, not real dark, sort of light gray. No, it doesn’t smell.” This was old school technology.
At this time the digital camera just became available. I bought one that I believe did 320×240 pictures. One day at the landfill, I took a picture of the water with the camera (and it was a shitty picture) and drove it back to the office and showed my boss. I said, “If you get an AOL account I can take pictures while at the landfill and send them to you at the office.” He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “I can tell that you like gadgets. You’re a gadget guy.”
Another thing that we had to regularly determine was the amount of leachate (garbage juice) in the landfill. To test this we dropped a device on a measuring tape into the landfill and when it beeped we knew how high the leachate was. My bright idea at the time, “What if we kept this tape down there, and then we run a wire from the landfill to the office and connect it to a computer. The computer could tell us the height of the leachate. Then when it got too high, the computer would connect to AOL and email me. He was probably thinking, “What’s all this Star Trek mumbo jumbo you keep talking about?”
Fast forward to 2008 and I don’t sound so crazy do I? I wish I had the enterpreneurial sense to go forward with my ideas back then.
I guess my point is that things change and that technology changes so fast that crazy ideas are not crazy, they are just well ahead of their time. Even for old school businesses like real estate you must learn to embrace change. I don’t remember any realtors wanting a webpage back in 1999. It took another 5 years for them to jump on board. You just never know how technology can be applied to an industry.
One great example of this is my friend Sonya’s self storage facilities. These facilities are 100% automated. The customers walk up to an ATM like machine with a keyboard. They enter in their information and it prints out a contract. The contract lists their access code and storage unit number. They sign the contract and drop it in the mail slot and swipe their credit card. The gate opens and they drive to their unit and move in their things. No human intervention required.
Change and innovation is good, in fact it’s required. I guess I could end this with a small political comment about the Big 3 auto makers. They need to change.