I met an old university friends late afternoon today. We did some casual talks about old friends and catch up about each other.
What quickly caught my attention was his frustration about the information organisation in the company. He works as a cargo broker and handles more than a hundred buy/sell request from owner, customer, and other brokers. And guess how does he handle all these communications, find the matching, and close the deal? Email, mental capacity, and experience.
This is an unbelievable solution for me. For every deal they close, they will receive hundreds if not thousands of brokerage fee. But the way the do business for me is just absurd. I dont think technology can solve every problem they faced day-to-day, but their technology adoption is like we are back to the 1990s. (I remember thats the days of Michael Jordan)
We talked more about his situation and some possible reasons behind. We agreed to meet again after he think and observe further with the questions I leave to him.
On my way home later, I started to think about our conservation. Not for the content itself, but for this kind of problems in general.
I grew up and educated in a the world of information technology. Writing codes, design program, and apply smart algorithms just make me feel accomplished and enjoyable. I am proud of my passion towards technology and believe in software eats the world.
And because of this passion, I have always willing to try out something new and mastered a set of new skills from basic desktop application, to web and mobile, and to more recent ones in data analytics. Not even I broaden by field, I also actively seeking new paradigms to deepen my understanding in each individual field, SaaS, test-driven development, agile project, etc.
Two more characters developed during the process of learning new kills that might be more important to me is the confidence I accumulated as well as the curiosity fostered. I would feel very excited and know that I will be able to solve new problems I face even in fields outside software development. And yes, I am a happy developer.
But since last year, I start to feel something is missing. I have equipped with all different armors, but I lack of a hard real problem to shoot. I am lack of the perspective from a business world. I barely knows people from other industries rather than IT or Finance.
Problems my friend is facing are not unusual. Many industries may not work as what I have expected. There is not so much business intelligence or predictive analysis in every industry. While I am trying so hard to find a painful problem in a niche market, there are many niche market with for more painful problems waiting to be solved.
Having written so much, I am here to urge myself to go to industries and areas I haven’t explored before. I should get myself out of home more often and find opportunities to with people from other industries.
Before I close up, I think one more advantage as a tech guys is the ability to take actions. Of course this is not exclusive, but more likely to be. A person who do not like to be challenge intellectually will complain and avoid it. On the other hand, people will try to solve the problem from the root.