I had an interesting conversation the other day. It was about all the choices available in the computer world for getting things done. We were specifically talking about the various choices of consumer laptops available; and how the specifications were so similar at any given price point. At some point I said “I just don’t care what you get!”. That drew a horrified, and somewhat sorrowful response from the person I was speaking with. To paraphrase, it was “You must be so lonely holding on to that attitude with your customers. They think you don’t care about them. Are you a ‘rock, an island, that feels no pain’ “ (apologies to Paul Simon for that.).
On the contrary. I do care that people come to me for advice. What I don’t care about is what they decide to actually use as their technology solution. Just as I don’t care whether or not someone drives a Ford or Chevrolet, or any other make of car; I don’t care what type of computer technology is being used by a person or business. The decision to implement a technology product, or make any other purchase, is based on many factors: personal taste, economics, availability, suitability for the task, etc., ad nauseam.
I will make every attempt to work with whatever is in front of me, because the technology is so similar. If I have no clue about it, I will say so; giving the person the option to find someone else to help or allow me the time necessary to educate myself. At times there might need to be a team of people (at least in the computer world) working towards a common goal, each member having a set of skills and access that allows the process to move forward. Teams should actually become more commonplace as this idea of ‘cloud’ computing (i.e. bits and pieces of your business and personal data scattered over any number of server locations, and accessible from multiple devices that have connections to the internet.) becomes more prevalent.
As a (pardon the much used term, that even I use…) ‘trusted advisor’, I like to be part of the whole decision making process; as well as doing my part to implement/support a technology solution. However, the ultimate choice does not rest in my hands. And ultimately, I just don’t care.
What do you think? Should I be getting emotionally involved/invested in the purchase decisions of my ‘advisees’? Or should I remain a ‘rock’?