Small business high touch with video-conferencing

In his landmark book, Megatrends, futurist John Naisbitt proposed that the more high tech we have, the more high touch we will want. After more than a quarter of a century - well into a new century - and with technological innovations now in our possession that would have seemed like magic in 1981, this Naisbitt prophecy is still valid.

But what does “high touch” mean? Do we have to be able to “press the flesh”? Or could 21st century high touch be just seeing another person’s face? Well, the answer to these questions might be found in the brain.

Ever wonder how we’re able to remember and recognize faces so well? Brain experts have discovered that humans have a small area at the bottom of the brain called the fusiform face area (FFA), a part of the brain’s visual cortex which gives us face recognition ability. But there’s more: Further research seems to indicate that the brain pulls information from up to three other data storage areas to double-verify what the FFA is seeing.

So with our brain dedicating so much bandwidth to recognizing and remembering faces, it shouldn’t put anyone off too much for me to propose that seeing a live face, whether in person or remotely, qualifies as high touch.

One of the interesting things about the 21st century is that there are many technological innovations that are ready for the masses, but the masses aren’t ready for them. And one of those technologies is video conferencing. Clearly, we’re in the third or fourth generation of this capability, which means that the barrier-to-entry is low; but, oddly, most small businesses are largely MIA when it comes to this high-touch technology.

So with apologies to Naisbitt, here is my prediction: With every business fighting to squeeze a dime of performance out of every nickel, look for video-conferencing to increase in prominence as an alternative to travel and as another way for small businesses to gain competitive advantage.

Two of my Brain Trust members are video-conferencing experts; and I recently interviewed both of them on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Ruth King is the President of, and author of The Ugly Truth About Small Business. Jay Myers is the President of Interactive Solutions, Inc., and author of Keep Swinging. Take a few minutes to listen as both of these smart people talk about how to incorporate video-conferencing in your survival and growth strategies. And, as always, be sure to leave a comment.
For Ruth King:
For Jay Myers:

By the way, I’ve had the honor of interviewing John Naisbitt on my show. Click here to listen to that interview:

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