Last week, a colleague and I had a chat about travel, specifically regarding the time it takes. Given all of the amazing technology we have, it seems weird that travel improvements have been fairly stagnant for decades (The fastest air travel time was set in 1976). Then, over this past weekend our building lost power for about 14 hours and the cable/internet/phone trifecta went out for just over 24 hours (#Insertcomplaininghastaghere). Obviously in the grand scheme of life this is nothing, and it really wasn’t. I read and then went to sleep a bit earlier than normal, it actually was quite nice.
Although both small thoughts, these two events caused me to start wondering about the “improvements” our society and companies could be focusing on but seem to dismiss in search of some newer, better and grander technology.
(Also, before anyone gets on their high horse, it is important to remember that one can be grateful for things and still desire to improve them. I don’t need to feel like the 1800s were last week. You shouldn’t either.)
So instead of AI or VR or whatever other acronym is big in the tech world right now, here is what I wish companies would focus on more (Forgive my ignorance since I am not an engineer, scientist or developer, some of these may be harder to do than I imagine. The point however is that these are the things I think people should be focused on fixing/improving):
- Quicker and More Efficient Travel – New York to London? About 7 hours. My simple brain feels like this should be cut in half. Maybe Elon Musk will give up the tunnel obsessions for a few months and create the Tesla of airplanes for us…
- Battery Life – With regular use (A couple calls, a couple texts, a couple emails, checking twitter a couple times, etc), my “smartphone” should be able to last for more than one 24-hour period. Less focus on the “smart” and more focus on the battery life. People would go crazy over a smart phone that lasted 3 days on a full charge with regular use…instead every couple years we get a marginally smaller phone, with marginally more pixels, that has a marginally better camera…
- Cell Service – It is beyond my comprehension as to why this is still so bad. If you are anywhere in a city that has a population of 5,000 people or more there should be no excuse for no cell-service. In the middle of the woods? I get it, were not there yet, but in a major city?? Lets get it together.
- Wi-Fi – We live in a condo, and not a big one. If we are in the living room our wi-fi connection is super slow. We are talking 40ish feet from the router and I can barely get a website to load. This is horrendous. I would argue that we should have strong wi-fi everywhere, but I will settle for decent wi-fi in our own home.
- Power – As stated above, its really not the end of the world when you lose power for a half-day (For most of us…for a place like hospitals, it’s always scary) but, it still seems kind of weird that we have not figured this out yet. This falls under a much larger infrastructure conversation, but the point remains: A day or two of rain and some wind should not cause the power to go out for 24 hours. The system should be much more resilient given how much our society depends on it.
I am stopping there because the point has been made.
I think we often skip-over the ideas that would improve the products we use in search of some new product entirely. This type of thinking is great, and has helped shape the progressive world we live in today, but I think the pendulum has swung a bit too far in the innovation or bust department. We could all use a period of improvements in my opinion.
This is also important for our professional practices. I am sure there are areas that could be improved before some big idea tries to get implemented.
- How is the service that your clients receive? Do you even know how it is received?
- Are there processes/methods that could be improved to make scheduling/meeting easier for clients?
- Are you and your clients getting the most of your technology? (CRM, Cloud, File Sharing/Storage, Website/Blog, etc.)
Try and think about a few places you could improve the infrastructure of your practice before you decide to roll-out some big new service model or offering.
In the long-run, it is the little things that clients will appreciate or complain about, which will have a direct impact on your practice. Take the time to think about some improvements.
Have some fun out there!