How to Buy Technology Products

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Says computer salesman Johnny: "Hey dawg. I got this pimped out server with all the fixings. 7500GB storage capacity. 3.0 Gbps of bandwidth. 15 SAS and/or SATA II drives. And it has the sleek SAS disk drives. You suck. You need the latest! Buy it, now! Now!"

Bull-loney.

For your next tech product purchase, remember the following:

Technology changes rapidly. Your business needs stay constant.

The difference:

  • The last two years brought the business world advances in web technology: including Ruby on Rails, AJAX, stronger open source apps, and a plethora of other tech goodies.

  • Yet, as business-builders, our needs barely changed: fattening our profits, providing kick-ass customer service, building innovative solutions, and creating the craziest mother $^@%^& company in the world.

Knowing this keeps you in check to purchase only what your kick-ass business needs. So, when you're out buying a tech product:

Focus on Business Needs. F^@! Tech Buzz Words.

Forget the super-duper technologically advanced products that those salespeople hype. Instead, understand precisely how a tech product can serve your company. Three reasons:

  1. Tech features won't build your company.

    The wisest companies see how technology will make them more agile, market quicker, reduce sales cycles, and a solve a variety of other sweet problems.
  2. Know the "latest tech features" this month won't be so hot next month.

    Grabbing today's latest and greatest features of the so called "technology/web 2.0 era" won't build any sustainable advantage. Before you know it, the tech world will introduce newer and faster features after a few weeks.
  3. Understand typical technology investments suck.

    Negative Return on Investments (ROIs) serve as the hallmark of most tech projects. The reason? Most tech products have a (1) tech person, a (2) business person -- and no one in between to connect the two. A lack of communication occurs between Mr. VP and Mr. IT:
    • Mr. IT: "Dude, you'll need all these features. It's rockin' Web 2.0! WEB 2.0! If you don't have it, your company will die. A crazy death."
    • Mr. VP: "Wow! Okay! Buy, buy!"
    • Mr. IT: "Everybody dance now!"

Just say NO! to Tech-Crazed Companies (w/ No Business Solutions)

Do something radical among the business world:

  • Look for tech companies who provide solutions to your problems.

    You don't go to the doctor because he uses the latest Type Vll gauze pads. You don't go to a lawyer because he has a Barrister Bookcase. You shouldn't go to some nerdy technology company because it uses all the latest technical jargon. Instead, you go to a technology provider because you need solutions. If they can't and won't provide solutions to your problems, you'll run far away. They'll likely -- probably -- burn your investment. And worse: weaken your company's short- and long-term growth.

If there's one thing to take away from this article, it's this:

Technology can never create your company's success. It can only complement whatever kick-ass business operation you're running. Yet, most tech firms hype their product as if it's some magic pill. It's not. No tech product ever is. When you see some tech salespeople hawking their product features, tell 'em:

"Hey basement-dwelling, Cheetos-eating nerds: I need business solutions -- not your technical buzzwords. Word!"

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Posted on August 24

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