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Mon 05 Apr 2004
MacSurfer and why I need to think about what I'm writing
Category : Commentary/macsurfer.txt
Oops. I didn't think MacSurfer would link to my last post. Why would they want to do that? You really got to think about what you're putting down in a weblog. One moment you're typing as you're thinking, in the quiet of an empty office on a Saturday morning (save for the sound of the Xserve), and the next they're all over the web.
I'm thinking, maybe, "then, don't put it down". But I do have something to say - because you really got to understand what you're saying when you say that the Mac is so easy to use and it needs so little maintenance, because this could have actually worked against the Mac over the years.
The way to solve this (but it's not easy) is to make the IT guys see that there are so many more interesting things they can do, if they can get quickly over the make-work stuff - like installing, configuring, pulling in and out expansion cards, setting dip switches, etc - and, more importantly, that they will be better rewarded if they do those other stuff.
And what might these be? I believe it's an interesting job to try to understand, first, how a business makes its money, what revenues it has to bring in, and what costs it needs to incur doing that; and then, to work out what information it needs to control both the inflows and the outflows.
You start off with empathy and curiosity, work the requirements through with creativity (guided by a vision of how technology could be made to substitute for any combination of land, labour or capital), and then finish off the work with a command of that technology.
The problem is that most IT guys have no interest beyond technology, while most business owners have no interest in technology.
I don't think we have to worry too much about the IT guys. They will go where the money is. At the moment, their thinking is probably, if we're so smart, then why are we not rich (after all, we've got barely 2% of computer users to work with)?
I believe the solution is to find business owners who share a similar insight about technology, who're able to make out make-work from real work and will therefore reward accordingly, and then work, really work, to help them kill their competition.
Or, if you can't find a business owner you can work with, find a business you can run with your own technology (just look at Entrepreneur.com - they have tons of business ideas), and then try to kill your competition.
In either case, the key is to prove that you and your clients will get rich following the Mac Way of doing IT. (You've got include yourself in this quest; otherwise there's no point doing this). Nothing else, not even mega-AppleCentres, will be enough to win this game.