I live a pretty connected life: I make websites for a living, I own two computers and an iPhone (more on that in my next article). If I lose connection for more than 20 minutes, I tend to get impatient. If the problem goes on for more than an hour, I freak out (and being a Time Warner Cable captive, my life is full of drama…).
Now, if you can recognize yourself in this picture, this means you probably tend to think that 99% of your problems can be fixed with google and time. Although I know it’s usually a good idea to rely on more than one tool, I often make the mistake of being too reliant on the internet. My car insurance will be up at the end of the month, and being an immigrant with a fairly recent driver’s license, buying insurance for me is a world of hurt. Like the last time I had to renew, I was going to give up and just stay with my current company (Progressive) because none of the on-line estimates I got from other companies was any cheaper than what I already had… until I actually WALKED into an Allstate office, spoke with a very nice representative that explained to me what the coverage numbers really mean, compiled a personalized quote and saved me $300 for better coverage!
There are a lot of factors at play in a situation like this, and I’m not saying that Progressive is a bad company, or Allstate is awesome… my point is that I saved a lot of money by just talking with a human being.
It took less than 20 minutes.
So as a project manager and a web worker, I think it’s very good practice to remember that sometimes the low tech solution might just be what you need.