TECH TALK: Points To Ponder: Points To Ponder – 4

Andy Grove, in a Wired interview, on the Internet

[The Internet] makes everything faster. Genomics discoveries come faster. You can crack data faster. You can build and correct supply lines faster. You can get information faster. Email has absolutely changed interpersonal and intercompany communication in a fairly profound way. That phrase “Internet time” – that’s real. It’s not always pleasant, by the way. I used to laugh at my friends who are doctors for being tethered to their beepers. Well, that’s all of us now. But everything being faster also has enormous benefits. The most direct way of increasing productivity is doing the same thing in a lesser period of time – turning things faster. And productivity is the key to everything – greater productivity increases economic growth.

[On business-to-business ecommerce], there are a few high tech companies, like Intel, who are leading the way in that area, but we are only leading in the simplest applications. We do almost all of our sales and about half of our purchases via Internet connectedness. By the time that sort of thing becomes commonplace in most businesses, which it inevitably will, we hopefully are going to have implemented a bunch of tools and business practices using what we’ve built. First, you deploy these things internally. Second, you connect your internal connections to other people’s internal connections. Third, you start changing business processes to take advantage of what connectedness allows.

On Communication, from “Words, Meanings And People” by Dr Sanford:

One of the most important is the need to pause, delay and analyse in our communicating and behaviour. Many misunderstandings and disagreements result from an automatic, trigger-like response to someone else’s words or behaviour. If we could but pause and delay a little longer than we normally do — a two-second activity delay — we would not have some of the arguments and disagreements in which we find ourselves.

The problem of misunderstanding is one of the most common and pernicious. The amount of time and money that is wasted due to misunderstandings and otherwise poor communication is difficult to estimate. But it is enormous indeed. Why do people have misunderstandings? There are many reasons, of course, but let us mention just a few.

One of the causes is the unconscious assumption on the part of the speaker that the listener understands him. He therefore, fails to aid the listener in getting on his (the speaker’s) channel of communication by asking him if he understands.

Listeners, too, unconsciously assume that they understand the speaker. They fail to ask the speaker, “What do you mean?” or “Jane, is this what you meant, or want me to do?”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.