Doing It the Way You’ve Always Done is a Road to Nowhere

March 7, 2013

It is a scenario that has played itself out constantly as time passed, refusal to embrace new technology. Two current companies that are a shell of their former selves are RIM (Blackberry), Polaroid and Kodak because they ignored the market forces moving in a different direction. Other companies like Blockbuster are virtually dead because they didn’t adapt.

Let me give you two examples of areas where I initially resisted change.

In February of 1995, I had someone at one of my seminars suggest I needed a Web site. I told the person I didn’t see any benefit and didn’t have the time for it. Three months later, I posted our first Web site with a single page. Now we have thousands of pages on the site and it is an integral part of the business.

Fast forward a number of years and Twitter had burst onto the scene. A friend suggested I need to create an account and I was fairly resistant. I didn’t get it. But in May 2009 I created an account anyways. It was two more years before I really did much with the account and everything clicked after I read The Tao of Twitter. Now Twitter is an integral part of the business.

There are certainly more examples about technologies I’ve embraced over the years to keep the business moving forward. Heck, we embraced ebooks long before they were cool and yet we are just now working on our first title for the Kindle platform.

What are the technologies you are resisting? Are you still using really old versions of software? Do you think fax and e-mail are the “modern” ways to communicate? Does your phone have a rotary dial or your cel phone look like a brick?

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

You can continue to “do things the way you’ve always done,” but don’t be surprised when your path hits a dead end while your competition embraces new technologies and zooms past you. Instead of making lists of excuses to avoid change, make lists of reasons why change can be helpful to you. You don’t have to live on the bleeding edge of technology, but you can’t stick your head in the sand either!

Post a comment on the blog and tell everyone about a technology you’ve embraced or tell everyone what technology you are avoiding.

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Good article, Foster. I agree for sure that people seem to resist change, including refusing to upgrade to an improved OS solely because there is no start button (hint hint) 🙂

    The only bit I didn’t get was your sentence “Do you think fax and e-mail are the “modern” ways to communicate?” Sure, I’m amazed anyone uses the primitive fax machine anymore, but e-mail? Nothing has replaced that yet! I know of no other way to send a formatted communication with attachments directly to an individual on their PC.

    Reply
  2. Foster D. Coburn III

    Yes, e-mail is widely used. My point was that if the ONLY way someone is communicating today is through fax (rarely used) and e-mail, there are other methods that are not being used. This came out of a recent conversation with someone who felt that they only needed fax and e-mail to be up-to-date.

    As for my refusing to upgrade to Windows 8 because of a lack of a start button, I would certainly strongly consider it if I had a new machine to put in service. I have never “upgraded” the operating system on a computer, always installing it from scratch. I do have a copy of Windows 8 ready to install whenever an appropriate situation arises.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    How about CorelDraw Service Packs for X6? I seem to remember you were against using 6.1 because of the new membership eula. I don’t like being forced to join a new membership scheme in order to get updates. It seems Corel are heading towards a cloud based subscription model? Not all change is best. Doing what you’ve always done may lead nowhere – but nowhere can be better than driving off a cliff.

    Reply
  4. Foster D. Coburn III

    I have been very clear that I will not install any updated to CorelDRAW X6 as long as the unfair TOS is still in place. I am still running CorelDRAW X6.0 and it is the primary version of the software I use. If that is the example you want to hold up, I think you’ve missed the point of this article. Way too many users are still using technology that is more than ten years old and absolutely refuse to consider far more efficient new technology. This isn’t necessarily a new version of CorelDRAW, though many users are still using versions that are downright ancient.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    So I guess you won’t be updating to X7 either? I can’t see Corel changing their TOS. Incidentally, I agree with you about them and I’m stuck with X6.0 as well.

    It’s all very well to make a list of reasons to change but I also think a list of lines not to cross or support is important as well. Not all technological change is truly beneficial. The economic/political system is more geared to making money than promoting the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

    Reply
  6. Foster D. Coburn III

    I can’t really answer the question of whether I will upgrade to X7 or any future version until they actually exist. At that time I will evaluate everything (including the current Terms of Service) and make my decision. If the Terms of Service is the same as what is currently in place, I definitely won’t be upgrading. If this system is geared towards “making money,” I have a feeling it will fail as upsetting users and other supporters isn’t going to drive sales.

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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