Isn’t online great? Cat videos, photos of people having a jolly good time and illegally downloaded movies – why go elsewhere?
1. Some people aren’t online.
2. Some of those people are very important to your business and will have a significant impact on its success.
Burying your head in your laptop, if done to excess, looks rather like burying your head in the sand. Like an ostrich does – look it up on YouTube. Or actually go to a zoo and see it for yourself.
“Hey – where’s the lists about the 5 things?!” I hear you ask. Give me a minute, I’m warming to my theme – will reach boiling point soon!
There are two ways of looking at the power of the internet. One school of thought says, all human knowledge is online. The other says, the sum total of what is posted online is what people who are offline want you to know. And frankly, they don’t want people who bury their heads in laptops to know too much. Remember when your parents used to say to you “run along and go play with Jimmy, dear, mummy and daddy are going to enjoy some adult time.” Kind of like that.
If you are always online, you won’t be around when the important decisions are made. Because the important decisions are never, repeat NEVER, taken online. They are taken face-to-face, in meetings. Always have been, always will be – no amount of tech disruption is ever going to change that, trust us. So be very wary of anybody who says that they run an entirely internet based business. There is no such thing, or at least, no such as thing as a successful internet only startup. But there are plenty of people out there who will tell you they run one.
Still waiting to hear about the 5 people you meet in Startup Heaven, huh? Just a few more short paras, I promise ya’.
Think about it – computers are an incredible, ingenious invention. But they exist to solve real-life problems. First of all they appeared when there was an urgent need to make more powerful, long range weapons. Like almost all of mankind’s’ inventions the inspiration for computers was waging more effective warfare. Then businesses (sorry, Bill Gates) realised they might make their staff/processes more efficient. Then Steve Jobs realised everybody could have a hand held one. Hint – VR won’t take off until somebody works out a way to get VR to solve a real life problem.
Conclusion (and yes, 2 lists!)
You can’t run a business with your head buried in a laptop – don’t use your computer as an excuse not to talk to staff, or monthly accounts as a reason not to take that meeting. Social media is an oxymoron; despite what we have been tricked into thinking. The real action is on the streets, in the bars and yes, even by the water cooler.
Sigh – here goes….The 5 people you meet online…
The sociopath – fiercely intelligent, wants everybody to suffer – avoid!
The Geek – a nice sociopath – use geeks to help you deal with sociopaths – they can be fickle but they’re worth it.
The Railer – wants to tub-thump and complain about everything – specialises in being outraged by events before everybody else – every time – can liven things up.
The “Celebrity” – tonnes of photos, drunken group selfies and sunny beaches – the beauty of the celebrity is they are real! And they are rubbing your face in the fact that everything is better offline.
The Cat – the cat is really cute – bless it – especially wearing a batman mask and riding a Roomba!
The 5 people you meet in heaven?
Your accountant, your lawyer, your mother-in-law, the repair guy from BT or British Gas, and Donald Trump.
Wait, What? You didn’t think you were going to heaven did you?
Keep on hustlin’