Tech Scales And You Don’t

I know it’s pretty and fancy and sexy and very Web 2.0 to make your self available to anyone at any time and any place in the spirit of the whole thing.

Problem … it don’t scale. It never did. It never will. Don’t do this to your business. Don’t do this to yourself.

It’s a great idea – but great ideas that don’t scale aren’t really worth that much. The best of intentions implausible do more damage than good.

They’re actually kinda of dangerous.

Insert Congress passing the Health Care Bill joke here.

I’ve shuddered at gurus who proudly announce to the world that they’re 100% approachable.

It doesn’t scale.

You just can’t return all those emails, Tweets, Blog comments, DMs, phone calls, etc.

I applaud the recent Blog posting by Chris Brogan for admitting this fact. Read it, accept it, and applaud it. I actually respect Chris now more than I ever did.

Here’s what I want to suggest. I know it sounds great to be everything to everyone on account of our iPhones but … here’s the approach we all should embrace:

Let’s use tech to be considerably more approachable than ever. Let’s do what we can but … let’s be realistic and speak of that realism.

Sound fair?

By the way, I’m betting my career on the idea that they’ll respect you for it more than they ever did when you made those promises you simply couldn’t keep.

And I’m betting that Chris just extended his career considerably by doing the right thing too.

What say you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Terry Allison

    Right on Paul. Even us non-gurus have our limits when it comes to being available. My more recent approach is to use technology to allow people to schedule time with me based on the time slots that I define during the week. I won't mention the specific program I use but it is simple, easy to manage and a real time saver.

    Looking forward to the next Podcast Secrets with you Paul. Second time around should make all the difference in my learning. LOL.



  • paulcolligan

    Thanks Terry. I've always thought that if tech caused us to be less realistic, the robots win.

  • BetterBizIdeas

    I am not even knee deep in social media Paul and I've realized you can spin your wheels like crazy and never get anything done with social media. There are some amazing networking capabilities here, some awesome opportunities to keep up with the latest/greatest trends in an industry/sector and, best of all, a chance to listen and engage with customers/prospects but, it is so VERY, VERY easy to get distracted. Goals, goals, goals….

    I am looking forward to the Saturday broadcast of you guys going nuts trying to pick up those IPADs :) I saw your video with Travels (marketing professor) and like the “focus” component you spoke about.

    Dan Ross

  • paulcolligan

    Spinning wheels like crazy because tech makes you feel like you can/should doesn't make any sense at all. I agree totally.

    Saturday should be a ton of fun. Keep your eye on for everything related to that.

  • Detlev Tesch

    I totally agree, Paul.

    I always felt pretty uncomfortable with the thought of “total accessibility”. Frankly I woudn't want it. I have a life outside of business, too. Plus: all those emails, Tweets, Blog comments, DMs, phone calls could in fact kill productivity completely.

    Well, I'm very glad to have *you* as an advisor who tries stuff and evaluates very strategically. Saves me tons of time and effort! Thanks for that!!


  • paulcolligan

    Yeah, I don't want it either. Good point.

  • taylormarek

    Dead on point Paul. Don't really need to say much more beyond the points you just made. 😉

  • Katie

    Being accessible 100% of the time gives you no time to develop the products or services that others need and want. It gives you no time to recharge your own batteries so you actually can develop new things, and worse, it sets you up to be seen as the one who will be responsible for the other person's success or failure. Personally I don't want that responsibility.

    There's a fine line between being responsive and being responsible. Like my husband (who thinks that because I work from home I should be cleaning during the day) who got really excited when he came home to find the house visibly different – I'm not responsible for doing the cleaning, only for seeing that it gets done. That's why I hired a housekeeper to come help when it's needed.

  • paulcolligan


    This is some of the best writing I've heard on the topic yet. You're exactly right.

    Responsive versus Responsible. Love it!

  • joenoonan

    While I love the ability to upload the most recent photo on FB, (including a 10' hammerhead shark I swam w/yesterday) and its great to stay in touch, all this technology and accessibility sometimes interferes with my muse…

    Thanks Paul for flipping the 'politically correct' illusion…

  • paulcolligan

    It's what I do.