As many of you know, Tom and I jump started Red Argyle over a month ago. It was almost one of those Frankenstein moments - "IT'S ALIIIIVVVVVEEEEEEE". I don't want to discount the level of difficulty involved in starting a company, but we have noticed a few things that seemed easy that would have been impossible a few years ago.
I started writing this blog at Tom's home office, did some more copy writing at a coffee shop in Buffalo using a cellular MiFi card, and am finishing writing it back at Tom's house. Many have been saying that mobile is the future, and it's quite exciting to see this happening in my own life, to basically be living the mobile lifestyle.
Tom and I are spending the week traveling around Western, NY, meeting with clients and during downtime setting up shop in different coffee shops. What is surprising is that with a little bit of discipline, we find ourselves just as productive no matter where we are.
With location being taken out of the equation, we are now able to provide service wherever we are. Business travel no longer takes us effectively "Offline", but instead we can stay connected and on top of our business wherever we are.
I suppose one question is enablement - what allows us to do this? A few thoughts on how we're pulling this off:
- A Mindset - We no longer have the link between getting work done and being in the office. We're always ready, willing, and able to be productive, to shut out distractions and dive into some work.
- Technology enablers - We love Apple products, particularly our MacBooks and iPhones. Fanboydom aside, The MacBook pro is a tiny, lightweight powerhouse that can go 4-6 hours on a battery charge. They also play nice with wireless networks and give us less headaches.
- MiFi - It's necessary to bring your own internet. While we like to use free access when we can, it's not always there. With a MiFi in our pocket, the whole internet is literally at our fingertips no matter where we are.
- Organizational Infrastructure - Every one of our tools is cloud based. Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Harvest, Basecamp, Skype. Can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and from our phones as well. Any paper files have been scanned and posted to the cloud.
- Telephony - Between Skype, Google Voice, GotoMeeting and our Cellular Phones, we are never out of reach. We can conference, video chat, and make phone calls with ease.
All of these tools gives us the ability to be flexible. It helps us maintain a better lifestyle for ourselves (being more efficient means less nights and weekends). It is perceived as a huge benefit for our staff, who love being set free to work wherever they choose. And, it helps us be faster, and do better work for our customers, and maintain better communication.
What do you think? Is your organization setup to allow living mobile for yourself and your staff? Any tips and tricks to share that you like to employ to get the most out of mobile computing?