Technology Can’t Replace Relationships

I just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There I saw innovators and wannabes hoping to become the next Sony, Samsung, or Apple—plus of course a few of the industry’s heavy hitters giving us a peek into what they hope will be our digital and electronic future.

From virtual reality demos and cars that drive themselves to drones of all shapes and sizes and personal robots that will help us in the kitchen and around the house, I saw ideas sure to propel us forward; ideas that likely will go nowhere . . . and, well, some ideas that were just plain strange (insect-size drones for example, because, apparently, everyone just has to have one!).

I particularly liked the idea of knit caps with built-in Bluetooth headphones—a great idea for action sports marketers and consumer products for people with active lifestyles—though as a resident of Southern California, my days needing to wear a knit cap tend to be limited (um, ball cap anyone?)

The CES website states that more than 3,600 exhibitors were there, spread across 2.47 million-square-feet of floor space—and more than 170,000 attended. That’s a lot of brainpower and ideas all together in one location, and that’s what the CES is really all about. Sure, it’s purpose is to showcase the latest and greatest in electronic gadgets and breakthroughs, but to me it’s really about possibility and getting people together from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to explore that possibility together.

Some will go forward having forged new business partnerships, new professional relationships, or will simply have sold some of their wares. For others, like me, the CES is a chance to “get social”—to network with other entrepreneurs, to explore what others are doing in the digital marketing space, and to continue to push my business forward by planting and nurturing the seeds of relationships with colleagues, clients, and clients-to-be—the backbone of my business development efforts. (Jumpstart your learning about how to make more out of social media for your business, by getting my Barrel O’Monkeyz social media white paper.)

When thinking of a blog topic this week, I thought it would be interesting to look back at a previous entry I wrote shortly after attending the CES back in 2010 (“Will traditional brick and mortar advertising and public relation companies go the way of the dinosaur?”). While that article is not about the CES, per se, but rather about my vision for Barrel O’Monkeyz at the time, it’s an interesting glimpse back at where I thought my company was headed (more of a virtual model), to where it is today, which is more of a traditional staff model (read more about that with “The Three ‘P’s of Teamwork: People, Processes, and Place”).

In a way, this look back just goes to show that no matter how flashy the technology, it can’t replace real relationships and the value those relationships bring to the business building equation.

A glimpse of the future? CES 2016

Will Traditional Brick and Mortar Advertising and Public Relation Companies Go The Way of The Dinosaur?

The other day while traveling to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV I was reading a book by Spencer Johnson called Who Moved My Cheese?” The book was a quick read with simple messages:

  1. Change Happens
  2. Anticipate Change
  3. Monitor Change
  4. Adapt to Change Quickly
  5. Change
  6. Enjoy Change!
  7. Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy It Again & Again

As I toured the show and drank in the latest advances in technology from Smart Phones (iPhones, Motorola’s Droid, Rim Technologies Blackberry), Networking Systems (Cisco, Qualcomm) and on-line Software (GoToMeeting, Web Ex, EFax), I began to reflect upon the book I had just read and our ever changing world. With advances happening on a daily basis, I began to wonder if today’s marketing firms would fully embrace and adapt to the newest technologies available to them:

  • Will today’s clients open their mind to non-traditional brick and mortar agencies to access an infinite pool of talent?
  • Are top-talented executives ready to be truly home-based and results-oriented?

When I launched Barrel O’Monkeyz (BoM), I looked around and saw that some of the best people I had worked with over the years were out of work because of the bad economy and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to create a company utilizing this incredible talent that could benefit companies of all needs and sizes. Most of all, I wanted to create an atmosphere where we could do great work and have fun doing it.

With that being said, I went about creating BoM with what I like to call a “No Borders” approach. BoM’s “No Borders” approach is centered around one goal and that is to not be limited by the traditional office structure, the 9-5 timeframe, or the costs of overhead. Team members can be located around the world, in different time zones for work around the clock – all while maintaining a low cost structure.

As I hit the ground running, I must say, “I am scared!” As a confident and successful entrepreneur, anticipating, adapting, and driving change makes me nervous. My internal gremlin constantly pops-up and asks “What if” questions on a daily basis. As I try to corral my inner demons, I work to lay out my goals and my desire for change. I begin to layout the tools to allow others to communicate. My challenge becomes “Will the others follow?” and/or “Do my goals need to change?”

I would like to offer special thanks to Mike Barr for being my personal tech guru, Lisa McKendall for being Miss Kenya Communication and helping me develop the BoM message, and to Bill Dawson for bringing his valued input (Cough! Soap Box) to each engagement.

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for action sports marketing, sportswear marketing, sports product marketing, active lifestyle consumer products, health product marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.