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One Gadget, One Decade

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 by Slaughter Development

Last month, BusinessWeek tech writer Roger Kay brought a sleek‚ portable computer to the annual Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. But unlike the rest of the cutting edge gadgets, his trusty notebook is over ten years old.

In a recent editorial, Kay explains that this aging device perfectly meets his needs:

As I fired up and snapped shut this highly reliable machine during a cascade of meetings, I was again struck by its practicality. Although dated by any definition, the old Jornada remains—year after year—exactly the right tool for the job at hand: taking notes in appointments scheduled one after another all day in venues scattered throughout the city.

Speaking as a true advocate of technology, Kay highlights that not only is his ancient computer durable enough to last another decade and reliable enough to provide more than three days of ample battery life, it’s also light enough to carry on his back when riding a bicycle. All in all, his humble advice to those debating any upgrade is quite profound:

This year, as IT and financial managers wonder whether, given the economic situation, they can squeeze another year out of their existing client PCs, it’s not a bad idea to revisit the principles of useful life. A good tool should last a long time.

We do not always need the latest and greatest of products to be productive. Instead, technology in general, regardless of age or fancy updates, provides value when it helps us achieve our goals. Likewise, systems and processes at work should be effective and long-lasting, instead of hopelessly awkward or mirrored after the current trend. The HP Jornada is the best tool Roger Kay has seen in the last decade for reporting, yet he keeps going to the latest tech conferences to try out the newest inventions. Likewise, great organizations build procedures, policies and systems that are designed to last but maintain a commitment to pursue new ideas. This combination helps to ensure success and enable a business to evolve.

As covered before in The Methodology Blog in Bad Economy Brings Longer Weekends, the pursuit of best practices is key to nurturing company growth and maintaining a positive workplace atmosphere. By embracing beneficial change as well as maintaining effective policies, organizations achieve success. Slaughter Development believes that advancement isn’t always found through the creation of new systems, but often through creative innovation via familiar resources such as stakeholder ideas, introspection and feedback. Contact us today for further information on how we bring change without the need for costly equipment or confusing technology.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

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Untangling Technology - The New York Times recently reported on the rise of usability professionals; individuals dedicated to making technology easier to use. Curiously, these experts are nicknamed “untanglers.” Read on »
Manjoo’s Method - Tech writer Farhad Manjoo is supposed to be obsessed with the latest online gadgets. But instead, he has designed a straightforward system for surfing the web. Read on »
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