The Pinnacle Peek

Buggy Whips, 8 track tapes and Your Business

Written by Drake Smith
Posted on: March 6, 2018

Since time began, Man has sought out innovative ways to make life easier. There was a day when a man would simply jump on a horse, grab a hand full of the animal’s mane and ride until he fell off. Somewhere along the line, someone thought of introducing a saddle to this process. This helped a man’s derriere after a full day on the range but did little to assist with transporting the wife and kids from one place to another. I’m sure it was then some bright lad came up with the first buggy. Now although no one can be sure, but it seems at some point, the fella sitting on the buggy got tired of whopping that horse with a stick and thus developed the buggy whip.

Now the buggy whip was and still is a fine tool. It could reach way out to the front of a horse pack and deliver a nice “pop” to the lead horse or simple deliver the drivers wishes with a simple “crack of the whip”.  The buggy whip worked great and was quite popular until Mr. Ford came up with the automobile. The buggy whip had little effect on iron autos in that day and so as one thing lead to another, a decision had to be made. Either everyone should go back to horses being the main mode of transportation so we could all use a buggy whip, or forget the whip and go with a new steel ride. I think we all know what the popular choice was and still is on this matter.

Of course, the 8-track tape came to a similar demise with the onset of the cassette player. I for one am still holding on to the hope that the 8 track tapes will make a comeback but in the meantime, I’ll just have to deal with the MP3 format for music on my Android phone.

Some years ago, my good buddy “Woody” joined an up and coming Memphis based company that no one had heard of. This company’s business model dared to do that which the average person believed to be impossible. Federal Express had the nerve to try and make the general public believe they could deliver a package faster than the United States Post Office. How, after all, could anyone expect to send a letter or a package from one city to the next in less time than the standard ten days or so that our beloved United States Post office managed to deliver. Everyone knows sending anything from point “A” to point “B” requires, according to US postal code, a high percentage of said letters/packages to become “lost” or “misplaced” for several days or weeks. Some of these letters and packages may even end up in the little known and less understood “no-zone”. This “no-zone” is a place between time and space where letters, packages and single socks disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. Yet, this company, known as Federal Express, set out to do the unthinkable; deliver a package from one location to a completely different location OVERNIGHT! Oh, the audacity! If this were even possible our US Postal service would have surely done this sort of thing years ago… wouldn’t they?

Well the truth of the matter is that Federal Express did actually prove to be able to deliver a package across town, across the state or across the country overnight. With such a feat having been accomplished, one would think the pinnacle had been reached, there surely could not be anything in the parcel transport business that could top this mind-blowing achievement. But this is where my good buddy enters this story. For in 1983 Woody decided that the typical college life was not his cup of tea. So, my friend filled out an application for Federal Express and somehow got the job. This new concept Woody would be a part of was known as “Zap-Mail”. Federal Express was touting that they had done it again; allowing people to do the unthinkable; Using “Zap-Mail”, one could send a document from one location to the next IN LESS THAN AN HOUR! What sort of sorcery was this?!? How could one even imagine showing up at a Federal Express office in New York, handing over a document to the Fed Ex worker and having a copy of the same document in LA in one hours’ time…?!? Once again, Federal Express had done the impossible. After dumping millions of dollars into advertising, the country was amazed by this new service and for the low price of $30, you too could have a copy of any document sent afar and received in far away lands in an hours’ time. This, after all, was the future!    

Over the next 16 months the “Zap-Mail” program proved to be a real winner. That is until a new device called a “fax machine” hit the market. Yes, this new fax machine thingy could do all that “Zap-Mail” could do from the convenience of one’s own office. And just like that, the “Zap-Mail” program was dissolved and my main man Woody got transferred within the company to a completely different department.

Today, we have seen that same fax machine that was the core of many business now fall in usefulness and popularity itself. With the preference and convenience of simply “scanning and emailing”, the old fax machine doesn’t quite get the play it once did, and any FAX Machine only dealers are probably having a hard time staying open.  The one thing constant about technology is that it is always changing and business must not only adapt, but the ones that embrace the change get a head-start on the ones still unwilling to move forward.

How about your business?  Are you adapting to ever changing technologies that may determine whether your business makes it for the long run, or gets pushed out by another that's adapted to what's ahead.  And we are not just talking about manufactures and sellers, but the user and consumer, and whether your business is investing in services and technologies that will last.  Even the once all important On-Premise-Phone System is seeing it's demise as manufactures scrap, dissolve, and consolidate an ever shrinking market.

Let Pinnacle Telecom tell you more about our services like Hosted Cloud Phone Systems and Fiber Internet Services to keep your business ahead of the curve.  We would be glad to visit with you about many other new cutting-edge technological advances to help your business strive. We’ll help you take the leap into “Tomorrow’s Technology Today” and we’ll leave the light on for those 8-Track tapes, just in case they make it back around… 

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