Confession: I spent a summer as a carpet cleaner.
The 2nd go-round was quite different, however, in that we had GPS to guide us through the various suburbs surrounding Madison. As I thought back on this earlier today, I realized that even though we had GPS, the anxiety of finding and arriving at the location on time was far higher. And it wasn’t just the British lady’s voice.
Here’s my thesis.
The 1st summer we never really cared about the route, specifically. We had our point on the map and knew, one way or another, we’d get there. Like those airplanes headed to Hawaii, we spent a lot of time in a state of course correction. Complete information was never available, so a level of confusion was standard. You got used to it.
Summer number deuce, different story. No map. No finding the destination first, then setting the direction. Just plug in the address and go. Information was far more accessible, making the lack of information feel far more perilous.
Life was defined by that next turn in 2.6 miles…
… and suddenly, missing that turn was terrifying; the consequences unknown. Would we still make the appointment on time? What’s the excuse? No, we already had lunch at 10am. The GPS drastically reduced our awareness of the surroundings and general route.
I’ve noticed a similar parallel with the increased prevalence of Google Maps and cell phones. The willingness to adventure to places unknown is far smaller. Securing a commitment more than 48 hours in advance is a much harder sell.
With the convenience of these new tools also comes a reliance on them. And with that reliance, old familiarities become unknowns.
I would imagine that this is also happening to our customers and our markets.