Stop presenting the news, the old way.

For the longest time, I woke up every morning, walked downstairs, and saw my father eating his breakfast while reading about 3 different versions of the daily printed newspaper. Often the selection consisted of a financial publication, of course, general news, and then something more regionally focused. Of course, the natural thing to do as a child would be to follow suit. I would grab my breakfast, sometimes a bowl of lucky charms or maybe even a pop tart, a tall glass of orange juice and grab the local daily news. This truly became a daily routine that my father, and I carried on throughout my childhood.

Fast forward 15–20 years, printed newspapers aren’t quite the novelty they used to be. We’ve become accustomed to instant access to news on the internet, whatever you want to read about you can find it with a few quick clicks. Typically if you’re reading the news in black and white print, it’s not new news anymore.

This brings me to an interesting conversation I had earlier this year with a high-level executive in the construction management consultancy space. During our conversation, when discussing our software, he said, “I get it, your software tells me whether we are on track at any given time.” I nodded yes with a smile on my face. He then asked the question, “why should I still be going to job sites to take everyone from their work for 1 or 2 hours to present the news?” I had to pause for a moment to picture what he was saying, but he was right. He finished with, “that’s the real problem you’re solving for me, everyone should know what’s going on.” We always look forward to these lightbulb moments, and when they do, you don’t forget them.

That conversation really stuck with me, and considering the state of what is happening across the entire world, I want to address it. His question was focused on project meetings, which include a mix of stakeholders from different parts of the life cycle. They meet and recap how things are going. And you can imagine how this is replicated across the entire industry at scale. I quickly responded to the question he had by saying “software should be able to tell everyone how everything is going, it shouldn’t require one person presenting the news that everyone should already know.”

Thankfully we had a rather lengthy discussion on the topic, which of course helped us make a few clearer product decisions during that period. I was also fortunate enough to sit in on several job site meetings and got to see and understand first hand what he was referring to, which was typically only one person or a small group of people presenting the news. The problem with this workflow is that likely when the information is presented, it is out of date, the same problem newspapers struggle with today. Faster access to the most up to date information is how Harbr bridges the workflow gap.

The current state of the world is impacting how we function as a society and has forced us to rethink how to perform certain tasks in our day to day lives, both personally and professionally. Non-essential face to face meetings will reduce, with individuals mastering how they can build and maintain proper relationships without being face to face. Virtual meetings will be the new normal for all. Also, why should someone be driving around a region or flying coast to coast, when if managed properly, all progress updates delivered through a software should be trusted, and give everyone the most up to date news.

Today my breakfast and morning routine is quite different than those years I spent at the table with my father. I have a morning smoothie partnered with a coffee (not a pop tart and OJ), and consume live news updates online (not the newspaper). Times have changed and the time is now for the construction industry to consume in real-time, be able to find what they need to with the click of a button and be comfortable with different methods of communication. Everyone is capable of moving the needle forward, modifying processes, and helping others. If you are feeling gutsy, you could even change your breakfast selection.

Stay well,
Jeff