It is undeniable that I'm heavily dependent on online services, everything from social sites like Facebook and online portfolios like Flickr to file sharing with Dropbox and downloading with iTunes.
Last week I attended a brunch hosted by the Network of Executive Women and heard speaker Edie Weiner, who emphasized the shift from relationship based business to technology based business. I agree that the value in getting to know one's partners and clients on a personal level has decreased as computers are rapidly becoming our main form of communication and business process. Personnel turnover is far more rapid than it was for previous generations of professionals. However, the turnover in technology is frustratingly rapid as well.
When I was in college, everyone used MySpace, until there was a shift toward Facebook. Twitter exploded, followed by Instagram, which was recently purchased by Facebook. Kodak Gallery was just sold to Shutterfly; and the list goes on. It is hard to be dependent on web-based services that are ever changing, evolving, selling, and merging. Thankfully, these kinds of transitions have only affected web-based services tied to me on a level of social interaction and convenience, and my professional life has remained relatively unaffected. I wonder, though, what is coming down the pipeline that might completely change workplace staples like Microsoft Outlook and Excel, or the way we utilize conference call services and engage in business travel.
I'm going to take Edie Weiner's advice and begin to regularly look at my business with "alien" eyes, being open to shifting the way I engage in my business. It is crucial to stay at the forefront of my industry rather than allow "the way we've always done things" to prohibit my company from anticipating inevitable changes.