Avoid learning technology at your own peril

by Ashvini on June 9, 2014 · 4 comments

in Business,Entrepreneurship

Talk to any person who is not clued into social media, chances are that they will deride it as a waste of time. Probably,  new technologies and ideas are more of a nuisance than help.

A lot of family businesses for example, hardly invest in new technology. Many business in India that are even listed on stock market, have poorly designed website. Their annual reports are scanned copies of printed sheets, collated in poorly formatted PDF files.

The most prominent reason cited is that “IT is not our core business”.  Even in educational institutes, syllabuses are rarely updated to keep up with the latest trends.

People are scared of technology

It is very easy to get confused by sheer number of websites, tools and terms. Let us look at a few of them.

  • In social media world there are so many sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest etc.
  • Complicated words like SEO, SMO, page rank, link juice and algorithms with animal names such as Panda , Penguin and what not.
  • Languages such as PHP, JavaScript, Java
  • Frameworks such as jQuery , WordPress and many others.

Thus it may be difficult to blame owner of a mom and pop shop, who may find it challenging to even operate a computer, to know about things above.

People are scared of learning something new, when they have already many other things to do. Also, the quick rate at which technology changes does not make it easy.

Why learning about technology makes sense

On the positive side, technical knowledge can

  • help improve productivity.
  • save time that can be utilized for something else.
  •  open up new avenues of engagement with customer.
  • Technology can help bring in higher satisfaction for customer.

On not being aware of it, there are

  • lost opportunities,
  • unpreparedness against an agile competition
  • theft or loss of sensitive data.

I have seen businesses not aware of importance of even taking backup of their sensitive data .

Technology is not that difficult

Learning about technology appears to be more difficult than it actually is.

The key then is to take it a step at a time. You will not become an expert for example in a programming language which takes years to master. Even basic concepts will be far difficult to grasp initially. They may need careful study.

Fortunately internet is has a number of sites that can help. https://www.khanacademy.org/, http://wikipedia.com can help kick start your basics.

Having patience and repeating learning

If I am at a loss at understanding something , I often read the manual more than once. I check on internet to know more about my problem. It takes time and patience.

With time, things get set in our minds. Repeated reading or learning cement them. Starting with a small set is often beneficial. A businessman for example may need to learn about

  • Web development
  • Social Media
  • Tools
  • Search Engine
  • Internet marketing etc.

Take one topic at a time and master it.

Best way to learn a technology is to participate in it

One could create a social media account for example and then learn to use it. A business man can network on social media and create a fan following. The only way to survive technology is to participate in it.

There are several advantages to learning about technology. Learn to live with it rather than getting scared of it.

mage courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 4 comments }

Atinder July 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Hi Ashvini Saxena,

I love Learning New things i Technology, I have no fear of doing it the wrong and loosing something. I always wanna learn, although sometimes people around me, scold me doing many bad things with gadgets, etc..

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Hi Atinder,

Its great to know that you don’t fear technology. I hope you keep working on it.

Lori Gosselin June 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi Ashvini,
I’m one who is intimidated by technology. The greatest fear is of trying something and losing stuff. I am getting better at the back-ups however.

Something interesting about the things you list that I was thinking about the other day…Internet marketing was the first thing I studied as my son was developing the web site and I didn’t have to worry about that tech stuff. The things I learned in the eBook I bought eleven years ago are still serving me today. :-)

It’s good that technology connects us with others who actually KNOW about tech! People like you.
Lori

Ashvini June 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Hi Lori,

The best way to learn technology is to work with it. For example by writing a small piece of code, you will get comfortable with it. Not that you need to become author of big apps but you need to get just workable knowledge for your business. I think taking it slow also helps.
Anyway I am here to help you out if you do get stuck with anything ;).

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