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Antiquated

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You get comfortable.  What you do and how you do it has earned you a good living for a number of years and you’ve grown comfortable with the risk involved.  The risk is minimal because you can do what you do blindfolded.  You’re no doubt one of the best at what you do and how you do it.  You are comfortable.  So when did you become “Antiquated”?!  You get all the journals, the tons of advertisements for the latest widgets, the emails offering you incredible financing with no payments for life if you’ll just buy this new widget.  Twenty years ago you read them from cover to cover before the sun set.  You opened every flyer amazed that they thought so much of you they would send anything to you(or present box holder).   You would spend hours trying to convince your wife or partner that whether or not you’ve got work to support it, you need to buy it because you’ll never see financing like that again!   They are practically giving them away!    But now things look a little different.  You’ve had your share of worthless widgets.  You’ve figured out which widgets were earning their keep and which ones were better off owned by someone else.  You’re a little older now, you’re thinking about the end game more, and you’re comfortable.  Now I’m being accused of being “Antiquated”!  Is “Comfortable” now a synonym for “Antiquated”? 

So now you have to look at everything you do, hold it up to the antique mirror and honestly ask yourself if you can improve on your product by upgrading.  Is the latest actually better or just newer?  Is it faster, more accurate or easier to interface with or just more advertising hype in a different color box.  It seems a lot of our potential clients read or watch these claims some vendors make and believe them.  Now they expect us to show up on their projects with these widgets or they feel somehow cheated.  I have had to defend some of our techniques explaining as best I can about tolerances, verification and liability. Sometimes it works and we carry on with our “Antiquated” methods we know so well.  Other times I just have to pull out my widgets and shake it at them!  A day or two of that generally calms them down and we can continue as we know best.  I must admit I seem to be getting more and more comfortable doing that.  I wonder if that is an early sign of “Antiquatedness”?

Later, Stu

2 Comments

Dove Builders

June 14, 2012

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I am antiquated too, and proud of it. And I too have been known to shake my widgets at a client to appease them, but I am happier doing what I know how to do, and doing it well. I just know that I can perform the job faster and better with the tools that I know. And I have had enough worthless widgets that I am skeptical of most nowadays. Every now and again a new widget will still catch my eye and I’ll give it a shot, but for the most part, my “toolbox” is full.

Will

November 14, 2011

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If you are over forty years old and have spent most of your life developing the skills that keep you at the top of your profession without the aid of “widgets”, then you are “antiquated”. Not only do antiquated geniuses intimidate the other 99% of humanity, they can be replaced by a mail room flunky with a widget for half the price, which is exactly the desired result of labeling techniques and people “antiquated” to begin with. After all, once junior comes in and royally screws up 20% of the project, old antiquated you can be hired for a fraction of the total cost to fix it.:>)

On the bright side, antiquated geniuses generally do well as consultants. I remember what Dad told me,”If you are hired as a consultant, never go to work full time for the the company that hired you because they think a consultant knows what he is doing. Once you are on the payroll they assume that you didn’t know anything or you wouldn’t have quit consulting.”

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