Sunday, May 5, 2013

Do you wanna bump?

"Do Ya Wanna Bump" is a dance song recorded by American recording artist Sylvester. The song is heard briefly in the movie Trading Places, a comedy-drama movie starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Doing “The Bump” was a big dance craze in the 70’s. I think I did “The Bump” at my Senior Prom.
I just came back from the best business trip ever - the USDLA National Convention in St. Louis. Sadly, I could not find anyone who wanted to bump with me.

The bumping of smartphones: "The best digital business idea that does not work."
While in St. Louis among the world's leading technologists and education digerati I noticed the that everyone remains stubbornly dependent upon paper: paper programs, paper posters, paper flyers and paper name tags.
And, Paper Business Cards. There was no smartphone bumping of business cards in St. Louis.
I must have passed out (and received) 250 business cards at the event. Nobody offered a "digital" card and nobody asked for one, even though the "bump" technology of transferring data from one mobile device to another has been around for a few years. I found this odd ... especially when I returned home and scanned all of my collected cards. Doesn't that seem like the biggest waste of time? "Bumping" a business card is such a great idea. But it never worked.  


Many reasons: Habit, and the fact that paper cards offer subtle benefits that the bumping of two phones just can't match. But we must also remember human nature.
Offering a "bump" requires a conversation between the parties to learn that a) the receiver of the data bump is amenable to this method, and b) that he or she possesses the necessary bump technology (yes, people still carry not-so-smart phones).
That extra step alone is enough to dissuade this non-bumper. But there are other considerations. Some new contacts may acquiesce to and accept your bump even though they really would prefer a physical business card; too polite to ask, they leave the encounter slightly unfulfilled and maybe even irritated. And should you make the offer to someone who either doesn't bump or lacks the bumping technology, well, you've added the possibility of embarrassment to the possibility of irritation.
Such potential irritation is not good for business. And why take the chance when going old school (paper business card) carries no risk whatsoever.
What about the bumpers who hate paper cards and are irritated by the failure of most of us to get with the bump program? 
That's their problem. And that is their irritation, unlike the type they risk causing, this irritation cannot be directed at specific individuals or else they'd be irritated with virtually everyone. 

And if you don't want to bump a business card, are you ever going to want to bump money? Ah yes, this is bad news for tree lovers: paper business cards are going to be around for a long time.  

< Admit it. If you are over 50 you have that song “Do you wanna Bump” playing in your head right now, don’t you?  See, Disco is not dead... it has just been on life support. >

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