Picture This…

Hill, W. E. "My Wife and My Mother-in-Law." Puck 16, 11, Nov. 1915.

“Its amazing how two people can look at the exact same picture and see two very different things.” Nicole Waddell, CEO, Virtual Link LLC

When I read this quote I immediately thought about the illusion photo where your eyes switch between seeing a young girl and an old woman. There are groups of people who only see the young girl and there are groups of people who only see the old women.

What do you see?

Not only did Nicole’s quote make me think of this optical illusion photo, it also made me think- this is how I view technology. Let me explain…

While at a doctor’s appointment on Monday, NOTE: let me be clear this was 4 days ago on March 30, 2009 not 4 or more years ago, I heard a vaguely familiar sound that initial I ignored in disbelief.

I said to myself, well at least I thought I was saying it to myself, “OMG is that a TYPEWRITER!?!?”

Before I knew it I was standing in front of the receptionist desk peaking through the window to prove to my eyes what my ears just heard. Yes, indeed it was, a TYPEWRITER!!

NOTE: for further clarification this was not your ordinary run of the mill general practitioner, this was a SPECIALIST, a very highly skilled (and paid) specialist.

Now that I had the receptionist attention I asked her a ton of questions, like:
1. Where do you get that thing serviced?
2. How do you function with out a computer?
3. Where do you find parts?
4. What happens if you make a mistake?
5. Do they still make white out?
6. Seriously, there’s no computer in this office?

I couldn’t stop!

The receptionist, probably in her late 30’s or early 40’s, enthusiastically answered all my questions. Believe it on not, she looked at the typewriter as just an office tool that enabled her to get her job done.

To me the typewriter was an optical illusion. When I looked at it I saw an archaic tool that enabled the Doctor’s office to stay stuck in the past. They are either unwilling or unable to embrace today’s changing technology. Most businesses stop using typewriters in the late 80’s, will they ever catch up? Based on how long it took the receptionist to type the label for my chart and create the initial medical information, the typewriter was not just outdated it was slow and inefficient.

According the Small Business Administration 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 90% fail in the first 5 years. One reason for failure is having no technology or poor technology. Entrepreneur’s who fear technology will quickly find their business lagging behind the competition.

Think about this, what do you see when you look at technology in your business? Now, what do you think your customers and prospects see?

Is your technology an optical illusion, two people looking at the exact same picture but see two very different things?

How long will it take for you to catch up?

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