Monday, December 04, 2006

What Is That Thing?

So I have written a number of times about the amazing connection point that my Tablet PC has become. For those of you who aren’t familiar, I have a Tablet PC that I use virtually every day as my one and only computer. Though the product itself has been fantastic, it’s how it gets used outside the scope of a functioning PC that continues to amaze me each and every day.

As most of you know, I am always looking for unique ways to bridge a conversation with complete strangers. It’s sort of a hobby of mine. I have long since maintained that people just need a reason to reach out and connect but most of us don’t or won’t. People in general need a purpose or a reason to start a conversation with someone they don’t know and even then it can be difficult for many of us. Yes....including me!

People need something a bit more relevant and insightful than “pretty fricken cold out there eh?”

So I make it easy. For the past year and half I make it a point that every time I am at a coffee shop or in a restaurant I pull out my trusty Tablet PC and orient it long screen or "portrait" for you art oriented people. I connect my USB keyboard and get down to work. It’s like bass fishing with a neon worm….people can’t resist inquiring about the odd looking PC.

“Excuse me sir….what the hell is that thing?”

“That is the strangest laptop I have ever seen.”

“Pardon me….what is that you have there?”

The approaches and the questions are all different but the results are always the same; a potential new connection and a conversation that might literally cover the gamete.

I would have to say I have literally met hundreds of new people using my Tablet PC as an entry point conversation starter. However I decided to keep track of just how many people I could entice by their shear curiosity of this unique little device and how many people I could engage in conversation that extended beyond the Tablet PC.

As of this morning here are the results.

From November 21-December 4th – 9 Business Days

43 Inquires

18 Seriously involved conversations that lasted more than ten minutes

7 Exchanges of contact information

2 New Book Customers

1 Potential client – A lady who runs a business group who needs a speaker.

Now I don’t suggest that you run right out and buy yourself a Tablet PC just to connect with people. A good book, a colorful IPOD, a snazzy new purse (for the ladies….not advisable for the men) etc can work just as well! I am quite certain that the Tablet PC for most is an easy way to bridge a conversation with someone who otherwise looks interesting to talk to. That would be me in case you aren’t paying attention!

Seriously, it doesn’t take a new fangled toy like my Tablet PC to make conversation happen. True it does make it easier but many of the items I mentioned above can do the same thing. It’s all about making it easy for people to want to connect with you.

My long held belief and the genesis of a proposal I have submitted to the powers to be at Starbucks is simply this….

People want and need to connect with one another. We simply need a reason and a tool to make it easy.

Ripple On and Make It Easy To Connect With You My Friends!!!

Steve Harper

No comments: