Don’t Blame The Tools

Wrong tool? / Im Werkzeug vergriffen?
Photo from hben22's Flickr


There are too many success stories of people using simple tools to get amazing results. Put those same instruments or software in the hands of someone less talented and you get a completely different result. Of course, it’s easier to blame tools than look in the mirror.

The truth is that to make something work today, you have to add a lot more ingredients than buying a new, fancy piece of software. If there are areas of your business and life that are not working optimally, then step back. Consider the following areas to augment mere tools:

  • Process. What are the steps that your customer or your team uses repeatedly? This has to be mapped and rules need to be applied. Without process, tools are pure eye candy. They give us an emotional confidence without real value intrinsically. Process makes use of your tools. What are the steps? It takes hard work to think it all through.
  • Strategy. How you will use your tools and for what purpose makes all the difference in the world. If you have a project management system for creating a show for your customers, then it has a different strategy than a checklist for yourself in your quiet work. The magnitude and impact come from the strategy you associate. Be clear on your purpose. Broaden it. It increases the value of what you have.
  • Talent. If I hand a tennis racquet to Roger Federer, no matter the make, he will mesmerize the overwhelming majority of humanity. The same is true if I hand a baseball bat, Photoshop software or Evernote to someone who has talent. Talent always trumps tools. They show up those who are mere novices and posers.
  • Markets. If you have a market that values what you do and how you deliver more than another, then your tools matter more. Look beyond your hardware or software. Look at markets and how they value information, speed and craftsmanship. One market can make you shine while another finds you irrelevant.

Everyone has access to the same tools. You just have to pull out your wallet, Google or download. It’s pretty simple. If your software were all that mattered, then everyone would be highly successful.

The gap today is around these areas that need a higher level of focus. It’s just easier and more cost effective to get things done with technology which were previously out of our reach.

So what are you going to do now that you have access?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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