As a personal example, I just realized I am approaching the twentieth anniversary of my very first presentation at Information Builders’ annual user conference.
Back in 1992, I spoke on application efficiencies to a few hundred 4GL developers. That was in Anaheim, CA, near Disneyland. I spoke on common mistakes that caused slower application responses.
Now it is 2012 and I am speaking on avoiding BI blunders in Orlando, FL, near Disney World. In particular, I will talk about the common mistakes companies make during BI dashboard software projects.
In a sense, I am still doing the same old thing twenty years later. Yet plenty is different.
For example, this thing called the Internet brought the thin-client web user interface. Cheap telecommunications showed up to give us a low-cost global workforce just in time for Y2K projects. Computers got smaller yet faster and cheaper (in fact, people can now easily carry tiny computers around all day long). Companies accumulated gigantic piles of data about their customers which have become just as valuable as the original business transactions. Firms have fewer people doing much more work.
Our real problem as adults may be that we don’t interact with novelty the way we did as children. Back then, when we found something new, it was exciting to us and we took time to play with it. But now as adults, we don’t bother to slow down to intentionally reflect on the impact of this new big thing. As a result, we fail to take action and can only become bystanders of the novelty rather than active participants.
I would love to stop and play with new technology. For example, why not build a mobile Apple iPad app using Objective-C? That would be fun! Well, my adult mind can give me a dozen reasons against the idea, most of which involve a lack of time caused by other responsibilities (for example, I should be creating a BI dashboard presentation to hit a print deadline of May 1st).
In reality, the length of twenty-four hours has not gotten shorter since we were young. Instead, we have just allowed too much old adult stuff to fill up the day. For me, it’s time to slow down and do something novel, even if it seems childish.