Do You Have to Keep Up with Technology?

My QR Code with my contact info

This past weekend I was playing with a nifty bit of technology called a QR code.  It’s a little code that you can scan with the barcode scanner on your smartphone, and get data.  There are a ton of uses for them.  The service I was using allows you to put all your contact information on their site, and then it generates a QR code for that page.  All the information on that page can be downloaded into a vcard, which means that someone can easily add me to their electronic contact list.  So if I decided to add the QR code to a business card, I would save several minutes for the person I gave my card to, if they decide to scan the QR code.

You also see these QR codes popping up in lots of other places.  One of my Facebook friends in real estate told me these are popping up all over the place in the Arizona real estate market where she works.  Some local businesses around the country are using QR codes to offer their customers discounts.  Scan the code and a coupon pops up your smartphone you can use when you make a purchase.  Lots of cool uses.

But what I found most interesting this weekend is the conversation that popped up around QR codes and the rapidly changing pace of technology, when I posted my QR code to my Facebook profile (just playing.) People were saying things such as the fact that they found them annoying, because they didn’t have the technology to use them, and others said that it was all a scam to get people to spend more money on technology instead of important things.  (On the flip side, there were others who thought it was cool.)

And it got me to thinking about how we should approach technology.  Should you participate in the rapid advancements, or not?

And I guess the answer is, how do you want to build your business? To be sure, at the moment, there are plenty of ways to build your business without new technologies like smartphones.  But what about 2 years from now?  5 years?  10 years?  The fact is that as more and more people adopt these technologies, your option to opt-out will become an option to make less money.  Because people’s expectations are slowly being shaped around these technologies.

Sure, QR codes are new now, and not a lot of people are using them. But what about Facebook?  In 2006 most people didn’t see the need for it either.  But now it’s becoming an invaluable way to keep up with our customers.  If you decide now that you’re not going to participate any more in technology as it advances, you could be leaving yourself behind.  Because most likely, your customers and prospects are going to keep up.

The pace of technology can be dizzying, and I am in no way telling you that you must be an early adopter.  That’s what you have people like me for…to keep you abreast of the trends.  (Are you subscribed to this blog?) But don’t close your mind to technology.  Like it or not, it’s the way the world is moving, and if you want to have a viable, long-term business, you must be where your customers are.  And unless you want to only service the rapidly shrinking group of people who are also choosing not to participate in technology, it pays to remain aware, and participate when things become widely accepted.  It’s the only way to build a sustainable business for the long term.

Your thoughts?

12 Responses to Do You Have to Keep Up with Technology?
  1. christine
    February 27, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    I find it hard to keep up with technology…there’s never enough hours in the day and I’m already finding it difficult with the work/home life balance….but I will make time. x

  2. Susie Gerrald
    October 7, 2011 | 10:03 am

    Hey Jennifer,
    Have you posted anymore about QR Codes and how to post them to your facebook page or your website?

  3. Neil
    March 26, 2011 | 6:20 am

    I think QR codes are great idea but they can do so much more than just something a way to link to a web page or something to put your contact details on. I think there are so many more uses for them but we haven’t figured them out yet. I think it would be great to see food manufacturers putting a recipe on their products packaging. I think little things like these will help us to see that QR codes have so much more to offer.
    Neil recently posted..Motorola MC75

  4. Africa H
    January 18, 2011 | 11:26 pm

    I keep up with technology and often explain new technology to others. I have not yet found a really good use for QR codes. I’m still on the fence about this particular technology and would love to see how folks are using it in sales beyond discounts.

  5. Delinda
    January 18, 2011 | 10:19 am

    I have a Droid, will it scan bar codes? I appreicate you trying to help us keep up with innovations!

    • Jennifer Fong
      January 18, 2011 | 10:23 am

      You would just need a barcode scanner app. If there’s not one included with your phone, get it from the Android market. My phone is droid-based too.

  6. Barb Maurais
    January 17, 2011 | 12:41 pm

    I appreciate knowing about the latest technologies… even if I don’t use them right away. I can make informed decisions about what will work for me at this point in time and still be planning ahead on incorporating tools that will be helpful to me.
    Thanks, Jennifer, for increasing my awareness.

  7. Justin
    January 17, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    Great post Jen. I agree, you do have to keep up with technology. As difficult as it can be sometimes you can really get left behind if you don’t. I resisted getting a smart phone for ages because I kept thinking a phone should just be a phone… nowadays though, I don’t think I could live without my iphone. I think you need to strike a happy medium. It probably isn’t the best to be the very first adopter of the latest technology because it’s going to be extremely expensive and probably superseded before you know it. Having said that, you also can’t resist change.

  8. Kristy Pool
    January 17, 2011 | 10:40 am

    I agree, I don’t want to be left behind because I’m not flexible enough to adapt. Plus, I am really happy to be a part of a direct sales company that is also not afraid of the direction technology is going and allows us to use the internet to optimize our sales (within the compliance rules they have established, but I also see why those rules are important to keep the playing field even for everyone)

  9. Nakia
    January 17, 2011 | 9:49 am

    Thank you for keeping us up to date with all the latest and greatest business tools!! I’ve noticed the QR codes in lots of places. It was on my “research list” for next week.
    Most people are adapting to new technologies…and I am one of them!
    I think it’s a GREAT idea to add to your business cards.

    ps. I have a HTC Evo…and I will scan your QR code!!

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