Thursday, April 30, 2009

Doing business without technology?

Can you imagine a company in this day and age doing business without using technology? No e-mail, computers, accounting systems, blackberries!!! Crazy, you say? That is what I thought until a tiny incident opened my eyes to a new way of doing business.

I was hanging out at home in the morning reading my newspaper when the bell rang. It was the Coconut-Wala delivering coconuts (in India it is quite common to drink tender coconut water during summer). He handed me our daily supply of two coconuts and asked for his monthly payment. When asked how much we owed him, he was able to tell us accurately how many coconuts he delivered during last month, number of days of missed delivery and total amount owed in a single breath! No excel spreadsheets, no calendar, no on-line delivery schedules, no inventory management .... no, sir (and madam!). He had it all in his head.

As I drove in to work, i started to observe and think about the other "Coconut-Wallas" out there who operate in a similar fashion. There is the guy who sells plants and pots across the street from us, the guy who delivers milk (different quantity each day), the guy who delivers newspapers, the guy who delivers DVDs .... . I have never seen any of these guys carry a notebook, leave alone a laptop! And they are all running small successful businesses.

So to all of you who believe that you can't run a business without technology ... have some coconut water!

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