I heard a joke on a morning radio talk show that really illustrates how some people use technology simply for the sake of technology. The speaker stated for all he used his home computer, he basically paid $1000 for a deck of cards. Sad but true.
For some folks a home computer is nothing more than something to play solitaire, and if you really push the envelope, something to compose an occasional e-mail. Ok, so you use it for word processing as well. Does that really justify the $1000 investment?
People still don’t get it. If you are buying a computer simply because it is the thing to do, if you are upgrading your old computer simply because your current one is too old, what are you accomplishing? Buying technology simply for the sake of technology.
Technology is a Tool, Just Like Any Other.
Do you use a tool for the sake of using the tool? Or do you use a tool for what it produces for you?
If you were a carpenter, you wouldn’t buy a tool box simply for the sake of buying a tool box, instead you would buy a hammer, a saw, and whatever other tools you needed to build a house. You would buy these tools based on your knowledge on how to use them, as well as your knowledge of what the tools were used to produce.
While the tool box of a carpenter might look the same on the outside as the tool box of an auto mechanic, inside the tools would be quite different. Instead of a hammer and saw, you would find a vast collection of wrenches. An experience mechanic would know what common sizes of wrenches are needed, what sizes are most used for foreign cars, or domestic cars, and stock his tool box accordingly.
Even the size of the tool box itself is dependent on the tools they contain. The jeweler would carry a set of small delicate tools in a small size tool box, while a plumber with his large pipe wrenches would carry a much different set of tools in a much larger tool box.
Too often people buy computers, and software, without any vision of what these tools will produce. They buy a box of tools simply for the sake of buying it. Buying new tools when people still don’t know how to use the old tools isn’t cost effective.
It All Comes Down to Vision.
What is the vision that will be fulfilled by the use of the technology? What product will be produced, what process will be improved, what task will be done more effectively?
As an individual, spending $1000 for a game machine and word processor is a little bit easier to swallow when the computer is in use for many years, and you realize than many folks spend these same amounts for other types of home entertainment such as stereos and home theater. But when a business spends that kind of money, the results could be devastating. When an educational institution spends that kind of money on a computer without proper planning, it is a waste of money.