New Technology

Back in the mid 1980’s my Grandpa worked day & night farming his 1100 Acre Farm using the old FarmAll M Tractor he bought 25 years ago.
Grandma always complained that he came home way too late every night.
Grandpa grumbled back at Grandma – “Back off old woman – it’s a big farm and the Old FarmAll M can only go so fast”
Now this slick young tractor salesman told Grandpa to buy a new fancy-dan tractor
Grandpa kept saying – “This old FarmAll M is running fine. It hasn’t missed a beat ever in the past 25 years, I don’t need to replace it.”
The Tractor salesman kept after my Grandpa to buy the new tractor.
“Old Man Smith bought one a few months ago and he loves it. He’s off his farm every night long time before you get done. He keeps telling me it has changed his life. He says he is having a blast every afternoon now.”
One day Grandpa gave in and decided that it was time to retire the old tractor in the barn with the old Sickles, Pitch-Forks and Milk Jugs. “Yep – I need to retire her before she stops working. I’ll buy your Fancy-Dan Tractor now.”
It took just a few hours for my Grandpa to get used to the new Fancy-Dan Tractor. He was hooked.
It was faster, and pulled larger plows across the big old Fields.
What used to take 12 hours to get done before with the FarmAll Tractor – he got done in 8 hours.

Now – let me offer you two possible endings to this story. One being fully fictional, the other being the truth.

Here is one of the possible endings:

The first day that my Grandpa got done early he decided to go home early and surprise my Grandma.
He drove up to the farm house and saw an unfamiliar pickup truck in the driveway.
My Grandpa turned off the engine and coasted up close to the house and walked into the house.
There in the living room was my Grandma and Old Man Smith – fooling around on the sofa.It seems that Old Man Smith figured out a way to get value out of the New Fancy-Dan equipment long before my Grandpa did.
I’m not going to tell you any more about this ending – it did not end well at all for Old Man Smith, my Grandpa or my Grandma.

Or another possible ending:

The first day that my Grandpa got done early he decided to go home early and surprise my Grandma.
There on the front porch was Grandma, snapping beans and preparing a full supper for Grandpa.
She was so surprised to see him early that she was overcome with excitement.
Grandpa told her to go get her “going out into public dress” on and he took her out to dinner and a picture show at the movie house.
All because Grandpa decided to upgrade to new technology and get value out of new equipment that his old equipment could not provide.
I’m not going to tell you any more about that evening other than to share with you that Grandpa & GrandMa had a great time from then on, snapping beans together.

The moral of this story is really quite simple.

Just because it still runs doesn’t mean you should keep using it.
If you can buy a new tractor and get the work done faster and better – do it.

I told this speech at a business event and related it to othe business I work for. I ended my speech with the following comments:

You should always consider upgrading to new technology because of the potential for real meaningful value in efficiency, new processes & performance.
And, it’s important to make sure that you use the efficiency, new processes and performance to improve other areas of your business so that you continue to get more value.

And – Don’t waste away the value new technology can provide your business on frivolous benefits like Old Man Smith did – Use the added value to continue improving your business.