Derek Featherstone's Box of Chocolates: You never know what you're going to get

Box of Chocolates

Thursday, December 31st, 2009 - 4:39pm

Going Backward to Move Forward

When I first started our company Further Ahead, back in 2000, I remember reading advice from people that said things like “you need to get a group of advisors; you should know your accountant well, other business owners, and you should definitely get to know your banker.”

Know your banker. That kind of changed in the era of electronic banking. I didn’t need to actually go into the bank did I? We have drive thru banking/ATMs everywhere. Just let me stay in my car, drive thru and carry on with my day — I’m extremely busy, dontcha know?

The Inconvenience of Convenience

It all worked well. Until ATM deposits started having a hold on the funds until they could actually be verified.

This bothered me to no end — the electronic transactions that are supposed to travel at the speed of electrons were actually slowing things down. It meant that I got access to money later rather than sooner.

So I talked to my bank’s manager about it one day, and she explained to me how it worked. And now, every time I have a cheque, I take in to see the real, live people that work at the bank. Because they know who I am. They can see my banking history. They can ask me if I’ve had cheques from that particular client before or if they are a new account. They can look me in the eyes and we can TALK.

That’s something that a machine can’t do.

Going Backward to Move Forward

The electronic has become (or maybe always has been) impersonal.

So I need to take it back to the beginning. Talk with my banker. Take an extra 30 minutes to have a face to face chat with clients about new ideas for their businesses and ours. Take 30 minutes to pick up the phone and talk with friends that run other businesses — yes, some will be with friends that in similar businesses to us, but some will be with those that are most definitely NOT in the web design/development or UX business.

As a business owner, as part of my business strategy, one of my big goals for 2010 is simply this: spend more time talking with people face to face or over the telephone instead of via email.


My simple goal for 2010: spend more time talking with people face to face or over the telephone instead of via email:

This comment was originally posted on Twitter

It’s seems you, Micah Baldwin, and myself have all been thinking about spending more time with friends and other people we want to get to know better. That is either in person or on the phone if all else fails. We could even do it over Skype or video conferencing of some type so it feels like we are together.

I had thought about doing it over a meal, even if that meant me buying it and having pizza, Chinese takeout, sushi, or the like paid sent to their homes so we could share a virtual meal together, if it was not possible to meet in person for some reason.

Hope if you either get to DC, SXSW, or sometime in the next few months.