In a recent article, we asked how business owners and CEOs can keep up with new technologies and strategies in the digital age. It’s a topic we discussed with a few people at Pubcon in Las Vegas.
"The pace of change is frightening," New York Times tech columnist David Pogue told us. "In the last three or four years…it’s becoming overwhelming for me. I mean, it’s my job. I eat and breathe keeping on top of tech, and people will say ‘what do you think of…’ something I’ve never heard of and everyone else has, and it’s like oh my god, now I’m behind. So I don’t have any idea how a CEO is supposed to keep up."
"Obviously there’s people like me and websites, whose job it is to filter stuff for you, and bring to you what’s important," he added. "That would probably be one way to do it, but I think it explains why in general business is always behind the curve."
A similar subject also came up in a conversation with well-known consultant Chris Brogan, who says, "What I look at is, I try to stay with a product or sale solution mindset, and I say, ‘Is there a reason this is gonna add to what I’m working on right now?’ and if I go try this new social network, is that likely to be where my new target audience is gonna be?"
"Honestly, it’s really interesting," he adds. "Everyone’s always chasing the new thing. I think you go backwards and look at the old things. I’m amazed at who’s not searching inside eBay or who’s not searching inside of Amazon or whatever…who’s not really working their email marketing lists, as opposed to just beating it over the head with automated stuff."
That’s a great point. The rate at which all of this stuff comes out is unreal, and a lot of people try so desperately to stay on top of the latest and emerging trends, that they leave behind proven and established opportunities.
"I think with time management, you just have to keep going with the mindset of what you real goal is, and keep paring away," says Brogan. "It’s like I’m a priest and I give absolution all the time. I’m always like, ‘You don’t have to try Quora just because everyone’s always inviting you to it.’ I haven’t said yes to that invite yet. I’m sure it’s gonna be great. Whatever. You know what? I stopped reading TechCrunch and Mashable because my friends will tell me when something really cool’s coming. I read their sharing of TechCrunch and Mashable, because then I get the story I really care about."
Brogan is certainly not alone, which is why social search is bound to become much more integral to the way people interact with information on the web (good news for Microsoft, given its recent deal with Facebook to integrate social data into its search results).
"So then the other thing with time management is – I keep telling people this – in the Internet space, there’s more work than there is time in a day, and there always will be," Brogan adds. "If you don’t put the gate down and you don’t say, ‘Time is up,’ it’s you. It’s your doing. You know, if you’re missing out on family life, it’s your choice."