Technology Can Make a Difference, But Focus on Its Efficiency Ratio

I have been really enjoying golf lately. And much of that has to do with technology.
I never used to play any woods. I found them too hard for me to hit. So I slogged my way around the course hitting irons. Luckily I hit them fairly well most of the time.
But this year I decided to make a change — I guess it is an age thing, as I noticed my irons were not going as far as they used to.
First I tried one of the new hybrid clubs. What an easy club it was to hit! So I bought another, and another, and then another. I hit them all so well that I stuck my 1-4 irons (yes, I even carried a 1 iron) in the garage. Then I did the unthinkable. I started hitting one of those really big-headed drivers. I had not hit a driver since high school, and even then could not hit it very well. But, are the new drivers easy to hit.
Now you still have to make a good swing. They don’t hit it for you. But when you swing well it goes farther. And when you are little off, you hardly notice and it still goes pretty far.
The same thing is true for technology in business. It can’t make a poor business model work, or an incompetent manager any better. But the right technology in the right hands can improve productivity and performance. It makes you more efficient.
I still think it is wise to be a late adopter. All of these golf clubs have been around for a while — many of you probably chuckled when I called them “new.” I waited for two things to happen. I wanted them to get the kinks out of the new clubs, and I wanted the prices to come down.
That is also how technology can work best for a small business. Wait until they get it right and wait until the wild-eyed first adopters are done bidding the prices for the latest and greatest gadget up. I was one of the last people I knew in business to get a fax machine in the 1980s. But by the time I bought one they worked really well and the prices had fallen through the floor.
My new driver was a gift from a golf buddy. He got it at Wal-Mart for $19.96. I hit it as far as any $400 driver. And my hybrids were all last year model on close-out in the bargain bin.
Always remember that efficiency is a simple ratio of performance over cost. Since I am not the brightest business person, and definitely not a very talented athlete, I always work on getting the bottom number of that ratio as low as possible. I wait for the cost of any technology, be it for golf, business or entertainment, to go down — way down. That always puts the efficiency ratio in my favor!