Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why Business Cards

A few days, Tony Wright of RescueTime and I were chatting and the topic turned to business cards. Tony made the excellent argument that entrepreneurs, in general, should always concentrate on whatever things they have on their list that will make the biggest difference in their business. And, business cards are never on that list.

At the time, I said that I not only had business cards, but that I had probably given out more cards in the last few months than in the previous thirty years, combined. Tony asked what percentage of those cards had resulted in a follow-up and I admitted the number was small. But, tonight, I sent an email to somebody whose email address I would not have had if he hadn't handed me his business card. I know that most of the cards I hand out end up in huge piles of cards on the recipients' desks (and, yes, I have such a pile myself). But I also know that, if they need to reach me, they can pull my card out. And I do that myself maybe a dozen times a year.

Right now, because I'm spending a lot of time networking, I'm constantly giving people my contact information and I need to be able to give it out easily. Business cards may be old fashioned and they're not particularly efficient in many ways, but they're still one of the best and fastest ways to exchange information. We can't all exchange contact information via QR Codes on our Google G1 phones.

I'm not saying that you should go off and print business cards (or t-shirts) right away. But, when you're thinking about those things that will make the biggest differences in your business, look at the whole picture, and don't make the decision based on what might make the biggest difference in somebody else's business -- I need business cards and Tony probably doesn't.

On Groupthink Projects, I finished one task today, leaving me one permissions/security task, one large scale test I have to run, and eight client tasks. Obviously not all tasks have turned out to be the same size, but I'm not going to start charting subtasks at this point.

P.S. Even though it seems like things are taking forever right now, RescueTime seems to think I'm productive. I have a productivity rating of 1.37 (1.47 this week), whereas the average user is 0.58 (0.61 this week). That just means that most of the time I'm trying to work, I'm actually working, not hanging out on


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