Confessions of a technology tragic and the road to recovery

    • Alex Makar

      Former Chief Executive Officer at Ubidy


      Before I leap into the wonders of technology and business and what I think we should all aim to achieve with new tech, I have a confession to make. This is hard to say but…

      I was one of the worst serial tech users and short-term early adopters of new business tech.

      What does that mean? Well if it claimed to systemise a process and allow me to click buttons while I felt the excitement of seeing tasks progress then I gave it a go. If I could raise tickets, click likes, change colours, track progress, report efficiencies and get that instantaneous feeling of achievement however fleeting it was, I used it.

      I was inspired to be the Daft Punk of the business world, sitting at my desk spinning multiple processes and tasks in a perpetual symphony of task closure, project progress, team management and system control.

      However, my dream was seriously flawed.

      Besides being the IT divisions worst nightmare, constantly asking for new domains, databases, installations, drive maps, API’s and licenses. I was creating a monster and that monster was my dream of being a digital manager.

      That’s right, I was doing this while aiming to be a successful manager. I had staff looking at me wondering what crazy new freeware, open source platform they would need to log into today to request purchases, or a meeting or new documents or even a conversation. For me it was full technology blow out, and for my team is was a disaster.

      But I have learned. Yes I took an online course in management! (Kidding)

      I’m converted and focussed and today for me, technology as a tool must always achieve one thing. The support and amplification of human nature and our evolutionary need to interact as people building and nurturing relationships.

      Well, that is a whole bunch of fluffy, blue sky, powder puff right there! And yet for me, it is true.

      The technology I use now is there to cut down the time of effort it takes for me to talk to my team or move from impersonal communication to more personal ones. To move from voice calls to video calls, to move from tickets to recorded screen capture with video and audio of me actually talking. Moving from emails with no emotion to real interactions where my emotion can be experienced rather than interpreted. How many times have you sent an email that was misinterpreted because of the folly of using sarcasm or even worse ACCIDENTALLY HITTING CAPS?

      Technology must be used to increase real relationships and open networks not by simply adding contacts or likes but by making phone calls, having coffees and the ability to meet people and talk about business and our jobs rather than simply writing about it (Yes I get the irony here).

      So where am I now with my shiny 1-year open source software-free token? I’m working with a team of technology advocates in one of the most relationship-driven industries, recruitment.

      And boy am I glad to have come through my learning curve. With a leadership team striving for technology which can open real human interaction we have taken on a serious challenge, but truly believe that as long as technology removes the barriers to contact, we can let humans do what human do best. Make connections and maybe even drink some coffee.

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