Sunday, 23 November 2008

Take the First Step

I was born in the era when there were no personal computers. The first personal computer that I encountered were in my upper secondary school days and it was the 1st generation of Apple computer.

Back then, computers were only for the privilege and the "intelligent guy". Not only did the hardware was expensive, software were pretty much in their primitive stage.

Most people were doing programming with it or using it for playing games. However, over a time span of over 19 years, computer has become a norm. And it has made the typewriter into near obsolete ... just that most of us cannot change the way we do things even when we are using the new things .... watch the short video...



That is why, I strongly feel that there is a need to change not just what we use but also how we use it. Hence, it comes down to "Smarter Way of Doing Things".

We are now living in the Information Age. Sad to say, Singapore is a 1st world country, but as far as I know, majority of our people are not there yet. That includes myself of course, to a certain extend.

In the early part of the year 2008, people are talking about Web 2.0, Blogging and Social Networking in the Internet. But Property Agents in Singapore are still using the newspaper. Most if not all are still worried about "Computer" and "Internet" which are 2 "Frightening words" they try to avoid.

Not just them. I attended many seminars and talks about embracing the Internet and Technology. These events were organised by the government and organisations. The targeted group are the SMEs and "born in pre computer age" people. You can really feel the ground that they are having difficulty embracing IT even though they are starting to understand that IT can give them an edge in both personal and business level.

Like in the old days of 1960s, when my illiterate grand parents were still alive, I remembered my grandma refused to take the lift because she was worried that she will be trapped in the lift if she pressed the wrong button or the lift will just "drop off". As for my grand father, he would choose to walk and very reluctant to take a ride in a vehicle because he was worried that the car will explode or catch on fire, as the car is running on petrol. He also condemned cars and called them "killers" because they knock down people on the road....

In an event some time back, when a subscriber (in the 40s) called us up to complain that our product (agent website) looked different at her PC from what we had shown her during the training session. She wanted us to "correct" it. At least she was reasonable when we told her that it was her PC screen resolution setting that was making our product look different. After we went through the steps to adjust the screen resolution, she was very pleased. The "enlightenment" came when she said, "So I don't change this setting now and from now on, all my clients will see what I see, right?"....

In another case 1 year back, one of our client's assistant manager called me up because she couldn't emailed an attachment to me. So I asked her what was the file size of the attachment. Her reply was:"What file size?"...the matter of fact was, she was trying to email a 35MB image file to me....and she was in her late 20s.

Just to share, our Minister Mentor Lee at the age of 83 then knew what is control-F, but most of our estate agents who use computer, and are in their early 40s today don't even know that. Of course, one can say that our MM Lee got "special" training..... honestly, no one can teach anyone if the someone do not what to learn. And if someone want to learn, no one can stop him from learning anything.

I came across the following chinese phrases and would like to share with you.

人 类 因 梦 想 而 伟 大, (Human race is great because we have dreams,)

因 学 习 而 改 变,(Human lives are improved because we learn,)

因 行 动 而 成 功,(Human can accomplish successes because we take actions)