Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Happens When a Luddite Becomes a Tech Entrepreneur? Great Software.

I was wondering last night, as I began to "tweet" for the first time, how a semi-luddite like myself could successfully lead a technology company like Nobscot Corporation.

I don't use a cell phone. I don't like to talk to people on the phone when I'm not in work mode and when I am in work mode I like to be at my desk concentrating not at the grocery store.

I have an old T-Mobile Sidekick that I bring with me when I travel but as my colleague Raquel likes to tease me I barely know how to use it. (Though I must say that the user interface is incredibly intuitive and the os seems rock solid.)

I set up a Facebook page for the Mentor-me-Meg campaign but I don't post anything on it and I stopped accepting new friend requests after 15. I don't want my life to be that open, I don't have time to fuss with keeping it up-to-date, I don't want any vampire bites.

MySpace makes me dizzy.

LinkedIn initially did not impress me because I kept asking - "Now what?" Today, though, I think they did a nice job of turning it into something useful. (Here is a link to my profile.)

Reddit, Digg and other news aggregators would eat up all my time if I were to read all the interesting links that are posted. I like to focus on my work and when I'm not working I like to think about or brainstorm ideas for work. When I'm not working or thinking about working I like to read fiction and watch dvds and walk on the beach. Who has time for all this technology??

So you have to wonder - How do I run a tech company?

It dawned on me that maybe it's my luddite tendencies which make me shun technology that is unnecessary, ill-conceived, cool but time sucking (or potentially dangerous in the case of cell phones) that allow me to develop technology that is simple, useful and does the job that needs doing.

One of the things I like best about Nobscot and Mentor Scout is that the software helps solve specific Human Resources problems (how do you figure out why high performers are leaving? How do you match mentors and mentees in a large mentoring program?) and does so with no more/no less than what you need, want and expect it to do. Maybe we need more semi-luddites in the Industry.

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