If I knew then about what the online and tech industry would have to do to stay on top of everything in terms of new and emerging marketing, technology, social networking, web 2.0 and the new industry standards. I am not sure whether I would have changed careers or not. I try to spend at least a half an hour a day keeping on and reading about new things in the industry and every Friday spend several hours reading the backlog of whitepapers, news report and newsletters that tend to pile up in my “to follow up” folder. It boggles the mind. There is so much to learn about, explore and create but it gets exhausting to try to keep up with it all.
In the food business, trends come and go, food and commodity prices fluctuate daily and staff changes over like clockwork. But realistically, other then the addition of online marketing, the evolution of POS systems and most customers (because of the internet) are maybe a bit more savvy: when it comes right down to it, the restaurant business hasn’t changed that much. If you looked at the restaurant business analytically from 20 years ago and now, you could count on one hand the amount of drastic changes the industry has gone through.
The tech industry on the other hand. Now where do I start? I was (and still am) a huge lover of science fiction growing up. That people could instantly communicate with someone or a group of someones halfway across the world was sci-fi, that we could have little computers that connected wirelessly to instant information was sci-fi. That I could write a note about something and someone I have never met over in Australia could comment on it was sci-fi.
I remember reading old (to me) science fiction from the 50’s and in them, spaceships to the moon and cell phones were just a figment of the imagination of writers like Clarke and Heinlein. I go to the supermarket and 2 dozen people are yakking on their cell phones, who would have thought it?
The idea that going into this business 4 years ago was going to turn into a full time and half job may have made me think twice. Staying up on the restaurant business now (I read the same newsletters and publications I used to) is only a small portion of my “keep up” time devoted to my business every week.