Technology

Four Generations' Embrace of Technology

Technology is pervasive in the workplace. That isn’t a news flash; it’s just reality. When we have an IT or Internet malfunction, my employees are probably less than 20% as effective without their computers. They will catch up on some …
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The Only Number that Counts

The retirement of a generation of entrepreneurs (see www.theboomerbust.com) is an event unique in our history, or in anyone’s history for that matter. What we are about to experience is inevitable, and those who are unprepared are in for a …
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Who Owns the Portal?

We are 30 years into the computer revolution, which I am arbitrarily marking as beginning in the mid-1980′s, when Apple II and IBM compatible (286) computers began to show up on the desks of people who weren’t in the “computer room.” …
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Size Means Nothing on the Web

A small manufacturer hires a local web development firm, and spends six months reworking his website. He agonizes over every word of the copy. He writes up product descriptions, detailing materials and tolerances. He adds page after page to the …
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Is "Follow Your Passion" Really Bad Advice?

It’s graduation season, and honored guests clutching honorary degrees are speechifying at commencements all around the country. In a recent story on National Public Radio, quotes from celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Bloomberg all included the same …
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Does Technology Help or Threaten Small Businesses?

A small computer service company wants to sell Microsoft software licenses to its customers. They send an employee to become certified in licensing. (Microsoft offers some 600 variants.). As soon as they purchase a license, however, Microsoft begins soliciting that customer …
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Productivity Declines: Does it matter?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as reported by Bloomberg, employee productivity dropped last quarter at a 2% annual rate. The common wisdom is that we have pushed an overstretched workforce as far as we can, but there could …
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Computer Technology: Curse You, Bill Gates!

Every business is held in thrall to its computer technology. In most white-collar environments a computer crash comes with the added expense of employees sitting dumbly at their stations, unable to function. When a function of our business becomes a core …
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Is Distribution Dead?

It’s difficult to talk to any owner of a small distribution business without hearing complaints about competition from the Internet. Their criticisms are pretty universal, regardless of the goods being distributed. “Customers call with prices they claim to have found …
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Being Brave in a Brave New World

In the first three posts in this series I’ve outlined a number of reasons why the American economy is unlikely to grow in the next few years. All of my reasons are factual. The numbers don’t lie, and these numbers can’t be …
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