A Technophobe in a Digital World

A Technophobe in a Digital World

Technology | Posted by YouInc.com - September 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Often budding entrepreneurs will ask for my insights on starting and/or managing their business ventures. One of the most common topics is technology. They want to know what technologies I’ve used in my businesses and how I’ve managed the technical side of the business. I always tell them that I am the least tech-savvy person working in the digital space.

So how have I managed to get two digital properties off the ground while being technologically illiterate? Well, I’ve partially learned some hard lessons. But one of the most valuable lessons I learned is that what you know about technology today is outdated tomorrow. So that means that even the most sophisticated “techie” is learning new things every day.

One valuable lesson I learned is counter-intuitive to how I normally operate. I am usually a big believer of “you get what you pay for.” I have found that when it comes to software solutions, this isn’t necessarily true. While some more expensive systems provide more sophisticated reporting, enhanced customer service and additional bells and whistles, I’ve found that sometimes all these extras aren’t required. At times, it may be more cost efficient to hire a freelance techie on an as-needed basis. From my experience, I’ve discovered that it maybe be worthwhile to start with the cheap (and sometimes free) service to figure out your needs and then work up from there. You’ll learn a lot about what you need (and what you don’t need).

Another point I always share is the infinite cycle of technology. What’s hot today is old news the next day. You never get to perfect. Finished. The end. It is an ongoing journey. The launch of a new version of your site signifies the start of development for the next. If you except that fact you will allocate your time, budget and patience more appropriately. What doesn’t happen this time around, will get in the next iteration. And by then there will be new enhancements that didn’t even exist 6 months before (this is usually the time when I shock the young entrepreneurs by telling them that Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist when I launched my first site).


Some people get so caught up in the technology behind the business. I say focus that effort on the idea itself. Technology is just the medium, not the message.

About the author:

Joanna Track | Image

Joanna Track is the founder and former CEO of Sweetspot.ca and eLUXE.ca. Her professional sweet spot is marketing, branding, fashion and lifestyle, and ecommerce. As a result, she has a strong penchant for shopping online. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Tags: teachers, transformation, jim dimenna, digital, media, mess, software, trends

Mark Burdon
August 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Great post Joanna! I think sometimes the price of software/software as a service is not always as high as it could be because a big part of the investment in technology is time to install/get data into the system and moulding it into something of value.

Software/Software as a Service companies also benefit from maintenance/support subscriptions. As far as freelance techies, it's best to find one that you like and stay with them as long as possible because often the cost of educating the tech about your business workflows/preferences each time you hire on a new software person can take time/money. Building a relationship with someone that you trust and having them as a "virtual employee" can be helpful as they can advise you how to buy only what you need and add on plugins or additional functionality when you need it. 

The popularity of WordPress and Social Media platforms like Ning is that you can start with a basic core platform for cheap or free and add bells and whistles on your agenda not the software vendor or someone with a different agenda. Having a good balance of tech savvy and business savvy is ideal so you don't get too deep on either side of the scale and get bogged down. You can divide and conquer. 

Bill Martin
December 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm
Ah technology, its the only thing on earth that you can expect to change in 5 min, kind of like our Calgary weather. At 48 years old and a business owner that it in the technology, I say field cause 80% of my business is online. I chuckled the other day when a young person said to my son "hey your dad didn't have to go to school to be a business owner cool I think I might want to be a business owner" being the kind of guy I am I couldn't walk away and not say anything it wouldn't be in my nature. So, here was the opportunity for a "Lesson Learned" as we say in my end of the safety industry.

My son being the typical 17 yr old knew by the look on my face that I was going to involve myself in his comment. So, as i began to explain to this young man, that at 48 years of age I learned everything I know by being self taught, or learned from the people I pay good money too. Technology at the end of the can be a solution or can be the problem. After I explained to my young friend what it is my company does, how I have to manage it the people the technology, and by the way look ahead to get ready for what else you see down the road that you need to pay for.

In being a visionary, and when I look into my chrystal ball here is what I see. At this very moment, we are just weeks away from launching our 3D Virtual Business World. As I'm sure everyone can picture our kids playing video games online, I have invested in creating a virtual world for business, Its interactive, its collaborative, its just like the real world but virtual. So, 2D websites will be a thing of the past, here in the not to distant future. The impact we are getting from people is amazing. Just seeing the light bulb come on when the connection happens. Well take yourself, if your reading this can you see any other member on this site right now? No, thats one of the biggest light buld moments, when you come walking into our virtual showroom/ office, you are visible and can be approached. This is the next big thing on the web, and if anyone is interested to know more be glad to chat.