The human factor


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.┬áMy 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.

By Luca Candela

Born in Italy, after a MS in Computer Science in Torino, Italy, I moved to Madrid first, then to California to pursue my dream of working in the epicenter of the digital revolution, the Bay Area. I'm currently the Head of Product Management at Treasure Data. I'm passionate about Agile development, User Experience and social media. In the rare occasion when I'm not working, I like to play electric guitar, ride my mountain bike and enjoy Asian food.

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