Saturday, May 07, 2005

Big and Small

I've been thinking about what I buy and use and how I'll use some things a lot and other things not so much. Two things happened this weekend that showed me the difference between a large, established company and a small, dyanmic one.
I do my banking online and I want to move my bills to an electronic form so there isn't a stack of paper always piling up. So I went on the web site of the phone company and carefully clicked around and followed the directions for eliminating my paper bill. I thought that I'd start with my cell phone since the second thing (more about that later) has me thinking that I'll use text messaging on my cell phone a bit more. There is a tool that helps you analyze your usage to make sure that you're on the right plan. So I registered and followed all the directions and when I got to the final step it wouldn't work. So I called the phone company's tech support and was told that because I have a plan that includes my home phone, long-distance and internet connectivity I couldn't set that up because it was just part of the cell-phone section of the company. The other section of the company is only available during business hours, so I'd have to check back with them to see if it they could set it up. I lost interest for a while and forgot to call.
The other thing that happened (and indirectly prompted this) was that I've started to use Backpack a bit more and I find the reminders incredibly useful... I was able to send a reminder to myself that kicked in when I was at the grocery store... I would have forgotten the peanut butter... You may be thinking that I could use a paper list and it would work, but the problem with paper is that you have to look at it. If I'm moving a reminder that shows up on my cell phone is great. I usually don't have to even read it, but the timing is important.
When I was setting up reminders I noticed that my cell phone provider wasn't listed, but an affiliated company was. I tried that out and it worked. Then I dropped the Backpack team a note and they changed it to make it clearer. All within a few hours.
A large, established company can make it difficult for exciting and interesting things to happen. The structure can slow down or stifle communication.
Which of the two companies do you think I enjoyed my limited contact with?
Which company do you think I'd rather give money to?
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