Skate shop wisdom


I was in the skate shop discussing skateboards ‘for the kids’ ;-)

‘The cheap ones are great to get going, once you can go in a straight line, if you like boarding, you need a proper one’ she said.

‘Proper boards turn, the wheels go round properly, the decks are lighter, stronger and have more spring’ she said. Hmmm!

This instantly put me in mind of a discussion I am having with yet another client about why Excel alone cannot satisfy every business need.

About how its great to get you started, great to clarify what you need.

About how more focused tools in the back end can help with dispersed geographies, with multiple simultaneous users, with massive datasets, with data integrity, and with security, to name a few.

But yes, like a proper board they cost more, and the benefits are not instantly obvious.

But also like a proper board, once you get going you can go so much further, and often so much easier than when using poor kit.

I’m going to post more about what these systems are that I think are needed ‘in the back end’.

Anyone else having these discussions regularly with clients?



(Of course I got a new ‘proper’ board – but you all knew that right?)

9 Responses to “Skate shop wisdom”

  1. Jayson Says:

    I’ve had this discussion with clients, and it all comes back to cost in the short term. Deep down they know that it would be better to move outside of Excel, but that would require more work, more time, more training for users and more $$$ (at least that’s how they see it). They rarely see the longer term efficiencies and cost savings.

    Any tricks in getting them to see the light?

  2. Doug Glancy Says:

    Simon, can’t wait to read your follow-up posts!

  3. Simon Says:

    For the technology or for the forthcoming skateboard injuries?

  4. jonpeltier Says:

    “. . . that would require more work, more time, more training for users and more $$$”

    And less control.


    “Deep down they know that it would be better to move outside of Excel ”

    ??? How so?


  6. Marcus from London Says:

    All the time. I think much of the resistance comes from several sources.

    Delayed Gratification:
    They want is now. Being sensible and implementing the project on more appropriate technology (delaying the gratification) just gets them all wiggly with impatience.

    Excel is quick, (generally) simple and (comparatively) cheap. Managers can usually approve the cost without having to escalate the purchase due to their budget ceiling. I’ve seen managers whip out their corporate credit card to pay for a solution.

    IT Dept:
    A ‘proper’ solution implies involving the IT department. I’ve lost count of the number of times want to avoid the IT dept has been a major factor in staying with desktop technology. There’s various reasons (previously discussed) behind this attitude.

    Often they feel that if the solution stays in Excel, they will have more control over it. Shucks, if we need to make a small change; we don’t even need to call that developer back in. MOst have never heard of Pandora’s Box.

    Regards –

  7. Doug Glancy Says:

    Simon, I suppose either might fall under the category of “back ends”, but I was thinking of the techical ones :).

  8. Why Excel alone cannot satisfy every business need. | CompuFiciency -- Applied CompuTelligence Says:

    […] Skate shop wisdom « Smurf on Spreadsheets […]

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