Business and Technology: Allies or Adversaries?


Not long ago, trade was at the core of business: The exchange of value between the buyer and the seller, physically. People used to travel, on horseback, carrying their homeland goods, to distant territories. They would trade the goods they have with what the other country had to offer.

Nowadays, billions of dollars get exchanged everyday, across the globe, without anything physical being “traded”. The wonders of technology!

Millions go online to trade commodities they never own, or to bet on price movements of stocks, indices, currencies or commodities. What is being exchanged? Where is the value transferred from the seller to the buyer?

Has technology added an inherent value to business dealings?

Has it made making money easier or losing it faster?

A merchant in ancient times wouldn’t lose his shirt overnight. Today, a business may go down in days, due, in part, to a blind reliance on technology.

Technology is a tool, a means to an end. When a business adopts any new technology, it must “serve” the mission of that business. Failing to do so, is a sign of either picking the wrong technology, or not having the right expertise to correctly utilize it.

The other concern when it comes to entirely relying on the instantaneous availability of technology is the probability of the opposite! What would a business do in case of a power failure, a major software crash, a loss of connection to the intranet (the business’s own internet, sometimes called Virtual Private Network (VPN); a tunneled network that securely rides over the public Internet)?

Here are some guidelines concerning the “marriage” between business and technology:

  • What is the business about, regardless of “how” it’s going to reach its objectives?
  • Who are the “people”, human beings, whom will run that business?
  • Does this business need to rely “critically” on any technology? what is the percentage?
  • What is the technology strategy? One that is “derived” from the overall business strategy, not the other way around, even if the business is all about “making” technology. In other words, a hi-tech enterprise
  • Do we have, in-house, the expertise to select, procure, install, configure, test and run the technology we need, or do we need to outsource it?
  • Risk management: Document, in details, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to follow in case of a technical malfunction, no matter how small. The overarching objective is to keep the business running, at its best, and keep customers happy
  • Have we considered implementing five nines High Availability (99.999 % HA)? There is no such thing as 100% availability, but five nines is close, yet not enough, alone

The list could go on. Add to it what’s relevant and specific to your business.

This article is an invitation to be aware of the wonders of technology, its limitations, and the best approaches to utilizing it for the good of a business.

The author loves technology and comes from a scientific/technology background, yet the misuse of a wonderful tool turns it from being an ally to becoming and adversary…

 

The Wealth Maker

Go Slow


Rushing is a form of greed. We can’t squeeze in a moment more than what it unfolds to offer. What does that mean? You might ask.

Each and every moment is a medium of expression and interaction. Our attitudes determine the way we interact with those moments, but nothing can “change” the nature of a moment, and what it has come to offer.

When it comes to investing, this is so rewarding, even if you can’t observe its effect immediately.

“Go slow” is not a synonym of “be lazy”. It’s an invitation to be mindful of your vision, objectives and actions.

Take your time researching a potential business; read, analyze, and discuss, but never rush to a decision under the pressure of timing the market. That strategy has proven to be misleading, at best…

Once you reach a decision, and you become ready to act, then go for it, do not delay. Here you can be bold and swift.

Now you have planted the seed. You can’t sit next to it and repeat: “Grow, grow, …”. Can you do that on a farm? Can you speed up natural processes, skip a season, harvest in February and plant in September?

The same principles apply across the board, in each and every human endeavor.

Your seed is the “wonderful business” you’ve mindfully invested in. Go slow! Learn to wait. Cultivate patience. It pays in droves at the right time.

How do you know if it is time to harvest? When the business ceases to be “wonderful”, or when it has already produced a handsome return. Before you sell, though, you should have already completed the same research process on another business, in which you intend to reinvest the profits from selling the first business. You need to have liquidity as part of your portfolio, but don’t leave too much sitting around, doing nothing (actually un-invested money becomes a burden, over time, as it loses some of its original value due to inflation and other factors).

Is that boring? You bet it is! But boring is better than losing, isn’t it?

Refrain from buying and selling for the sake of having fun and excitement. Find another venue to satisfy that desire. Investing isn’t a game to be played. It is a discipline to be followed…

Good Investing!

The Wealth Maker