“I’ve been doing this for a long time, but this is the first time I’m seeing mainstream technology have real applications for people with disabilities,” Karen of SFCD explains. She proceeds to show me how she is able to control just about everything in the room, from the fan to the lights, with her voice or the iPad she holds in her hand. The iPad is running several communication applications that allow her to type out simple sentences telling the room what to do. Karen illustrates this by tapping a few buttons on her iPad, causing it to say, “Amazon, turn on the fan.” Sure enough, the fan across the room turns on with a pleasing whir. This is what assistive technology is all about, and it’s pretty incredible.
If you use a computer, you need to care about malicious software. Malicious software is any piece of code designed to harm a computer system and it has been around for a very long time. Viruses have only become more sophisticated and costly, but there are many options for protecting yourself and your business from attack.
Computers are a lot like cars. They’re expensive, incredibly useful, and will fall apart without regular maintenance. You wouldn’t go years without checking or changing your oil, or let the weird noise in your car fester without getting it looked at by a professional. But many people don’t look at computers the same way. They will go months without updating, shooing away notifications, and thinking, “I just spent $900 on this, it should just WORK!” Your car performs a lot better with the recommended maintenance and services, and so will your computer. More importantly, your computer will be much less susceptible to attack.
Your device is the portal through which you communicate with friends, family, and the people you work with. Replacing a device is costly, but you can’t put a price on the data you hold in it. Consider how much worse it would be if someone got ahold of the data you can access with that device: bank accounts, passwords, emails, photos, correspondence with friends, and more. This is precisely why security is important.
If you’re one of the chosen few who can get your wifi to work well at home, that is one thing. However, when you get ten or more people connecting to a wireless network simultaneously, it can get a little tricky. Whether you have ten people in your office or over one-hundred, the commonality is that the wifi connection in your office is not getting any less important any time soon.
It is likely that you will spend about 2080 hours at your job every year. Hopefully this means that you and the people you work with are spending 2080 hours each year doing things that you enjoy and completing projects that mean something to you. The worst use of this time is to waste it on software that slows you down and tools that impede your productivity. Unfortunately, this is something we see people do far too often.
It’s not uncommon to hear our employees say that Jones IT is one of the best places that they have worked. You may be fooled into thinking that this is because of all the ping-pong matches and free beer, but when you dig a bit deeper you realize it is because we put a lot of thought into creating amazing culture.
Once you decide that you’re going to start a business and you know what you are going to sell, there are still a lot of questions left on the table.
Your first thoughts should be centered around saving as much time as possible for your core business and attaining customers. Since our days of being paid to fix ancient computers and set up IKEA furniture, we have learned a thing or two about being efficient in business and creating a brand that makes people say things like, “You guys just seem really cool.”
As one of the original members of Jones IT, I have seen our business grow from 2 guys in a garage to where we are now: a growing 15 person crew that is rapidly becoming SF’s leader in IT. When we first started out nearly a decade ago, we kept track of our work with only email and word docs. Surprisingly, this was just fine in the early days when it was just Evan and me. In order for our business to grow, however, we had to get better!
While we can’t bottle our entire secret sauce to success in a few paragraphs, we hope to give you a small taste of the tools we use that continue to help us to grow sustainably and efficiently. What follows is the first part of our Jones IT starter kit to success: business planning, preparing pitches, and introducing lean startup methods.