HE SAYS:

When I first started operating USFSB, I knew next to nothing about how to use the available technology in furtherance of our business.  In fact, I knew so little that I did not even know all of the technology that was available let alone how to use it effectively.   I slowly learned by trial and error.

USFSB already had a computer system that had been patched together, over several years, by a part time computer consultant and it was cumbersome, inefficient, and constantly in need of repair.  I eventually came to the realization that USFSB, with its unique business requirements, needed a comprehensive and highly customized computer system designed specifically for the way USFSB does business.

I put one of my employees in charge of the project and directed him to find the right people to design and build our new computer system within our budget.   His plan was to farm out the work to a group of cutting edge techno-geeks recruited from a local college.   These people appeared to be highly knowledgeable about the technology and proceeded, at great expense and over a long period of time, to build a very complex system that did not work.  To say the least, I was shocked, angry, and frustrated with this turn of events.    As a side note, the employee was our marketing person who was able to sell me on the idea that he could pull this off.   

After having the failed system evaluated by other experienced computer experts, it became clear that the problem was not with the technology used to build the system but that the people who built it had absolutely no business sense and did not know how to take their theoretical knowledge and apply it in a real life situation for a real business.   I learned a valuable lesson.   Knowledge without common sense can be very dangerous.

Finally, I found a computer expert who also had experience dealing with the real world of business.  I hired him as an employee so that I could directly work with him on my requirements for the system and make sure that it was tested to my satisfaction every step of the way.    I knew what I wanted the computer system to do I just did not know how to get there without his help.   Together we made a great team.

In the final analysis, I learned that it is great folly to pursue any technology unless there is a clear business plan and you have the right people to implement your vision.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?