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 But one of the most valuable lessons I learned is that what you know about technology today is outdated tomorrow.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 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.