Share IT – Don’t Hoard IT – Free IT Training for Small Business
No – that’s not a typo! It’s free, and it’s on Saturday 24th March in University College Cork. What’s more, it’s the first of hopefully many more such events to be held at various locations around the country.
Of course we all know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and ShareIT is no exception:
Lunch: (This is where you bring your ham and cheese roll and your thermos flask and club milk.)
I am learning that there is an awful lot of activity which goes on in the world of business for which no money changes hands. But, while it is therefore technically “free” that is not to say that it is not valuable.
As an example: I do not get paid to write this blog. Yet, I derive business benefits from it such as PR and networking. Yesterday, I wrote a post outlining my experiences in evaluating accounting software. Within hours I had received valuable (free!) advice from other entrepreneurs. Not only is this of benefit to me, but the post – now considerably enhanced by the comments received – stands ready to assist others with a similar business need. No extra charge! 😉
Yesterday, James wrote about the IT Aristocracy, those who’s taste in technology tends towards the elite (or 1337!) In general they are a harmless bunch – you could even say that they serve a function, like the British royals!
However there is another tradition in IT which, while similar to the “aristocracy”, offers no value at all: the IT Hoarders.
We’ve all encountered IT hoarding. It exists at every level in the industry, from the proprietary intellectual property and locked-in technologies of major vendors to the petty “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you” of the local sysadmin who thinks his job is protected by his secrets.
The strategy is the same, on both the macro and micro levels, and, while it may offer some short-term gains, it is ultimately doomed to fail.
(The fact that hoarding works sometimes is acknowledged by Michael Raynor, author of The Strategy Paradox, in an interview with Guy Kawasaki where he explains that Apple’s proprietary strategy worked for the Apple II and the Mac and most recently for the iPod. But their failure to adapt their strategy when the market embraced open standards caused them to suffer in the late 80s and early 90s.)
Knowledge hoarding makes no sense. Bloggers know that! It costs nothing to share an idea, and you’re much more likely to discover your ideas are improved by the contributions of others. This is the philosophy on which the new wave of web business and entrepreneurship is riding: open standards, open source, open minds.