What Jason Fried Can Teach Us About IT Purchases


jason-friedIn one of his talks, Jason Fried from 37 Signals made an interesting observation. He said that the exchange of money is one of the most intimate things that can happen between two people.

He’s right. People work hard to earn their money. It’s part of them. When they spend their money it is an expression of their values.

IT professionals have to exchange money for hardware and software all the time. People get so caught up in the hardware and software that they sometimes lose sight of the fact that business is done between people. At the end of the day, it’s people serving people. IT pros call companies to solve problems.

Think of how many IT purchases are made. The hardware and software you buy is important. You rely on it day in and day out. Let’s say you buy some network hardware on a Friday in May. It gets shipped out and you install it. That network hardware is part of your life now.

What do you do when you have questions? What do you do when you have a problem?

Do you pick up the phone and call back that company?

Or do you call back a person or a team of the people at that company?

It’s a subtle difference, but it’s a significant one. The exchange of money is indeed one of the most intimate things that happen between people. It’s the people that make the difference.

Some may say, “Hey, I’m just buying a box. I can get it from anywhere.” That may be true on some level, but there are a lot of things that need to happen to get that box to you safely, promptly and in working order. It is people who have to make sure that is what happens.

Furthermore, there are a lot of devices and parts that keep a network up and running. Whether you see them simply as a “box” isn’t going to matter to you when said “box” fails and causes problems or downtime. Then that “box” is going to seem really important.

When things hit the fan, what will you do? You will call a person to help. You will call a person for service and support.

IT is a world where small problems with simple devices can cause performance issues that can cost companies lots of money. The lesson? The people you work with make a huge difference.