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Over the last 18 years my use of the Internet at our family cabin has seen dramatic changes. Here’s some of the history:

  • Go to the cabin, be offline while there.
  • Find someone (usually from the local Rotary Club) who would let me come to their office to get dial-up service.
  • Get a phone line at the cabin and a local dial-up provider.
  • With the advent of smart phones find that the dial-up service is pathetically slow even compared to 2G (Edge) cell service.
  • Realize there is no cable or DSL service in the area.
  • Get rid of the phone line, hoping to find a solution over the winter.
  • See the iPad come out with cellular service so with a Bluetooth keyboard it is pretty darn functional (even at 2G speeds)

Now, in 2012, my iPhone is a wireless hotspot. I can pick up the cell signal (still 2G, we’re way back in the woods), have it send the signal to my computer so I can now use my computer while there (with patience of course as it’s still slow).

The above is using technology to be more productive. Ask yourself, are you doing the same whether it’s hardware, software, bandwidth or anything else? I’ve seen, in the last two years, companies that were still using Windows 95 and 98. It may work, but it’s not the best use of technology or equipment (and a buyer sees the situation as nothing more than an upcoming capital expenditure).

I’ve also seen companies that have nothing but the newest, fanciest and most expensive equipment because it’s “cool.” And most of what they do could be done on a lot less expensive and older equipment.

Know your balance so you are gaining productivity not being a slave to it.

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