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You Don't Need A Gigabit Internet Connection

No, seriously. You don't. OK, OK.. I can already hear the critics yelling from the cheap seats "but whaddddabout". Sure, there's lots of examples saying otherwise, but the reality is you likely don't, and I'll tell you why.

In Canada, at the time of writing this post (June 2021) there's a massive move to Gigabit Internet connections. This isn't a good thing, it's a GREAT thing! I fully support what's going on. The shift to getting more and more people onto true fiber circuits is an unbelievably hard and expensive process, but it's one that is going to pay off for generations to come.  

Let's Look At Where We Came From




That's rich, coming from a guy with a Gigabit connection


"Geeks", You Say?

A particular interaction with these people really drove home my belief that they're nothing more than a bunch of entry level employees with no knowledge of technology, advising on technology. It's like taking your car that's making a funny noise to your accountant and asking them if they can take a look. So, I stroll into the local best buy one day in a pinch. I was looking for a PoE injector, basically a little box that puts some voltage over your network cable to power things like cameras, phones, and things like that. I search the shelves and come up with nothing. Naturally I ask a sales person and they haven't the slightest clue, only to direct me to the Geek Squad. Fair enough, I talk to the first person at the desk and they are completely confused as to what I'm asking for. He calls over his buddy who says "Oh! Like, a hub?". "No, not a hub. I'd be shocked if you even sold hubs anymore".. I proceed to explain.. "It's typically a small box with a power input, an ethernet input, and an ethernet output. It provides power on your ethernet cable to power phones, and cameras, and things like that". He leads me over to where there's power line adaptors. Not a bad guess, but completely the wrong item. He insists it's not and that I'm the one who's confused. I continue to explain. He brings over his manager who then tells me "I don't think they make those anymore". I pull open a few Amazon listings for them, and they're perplexed as to what this crazy contraption is. It's clear they don't have them, or if they did, I sure as heck would need to find it myself. The point of the story is to say that any pee-wee network kid would know what one of these things is in an instant. Going back to the car & accountant metaphor, it would be as simple as knowing where your radiator in your car is. You'd sure hope your mechanic not only knew where to find it on your car, but actually realized it was a part of your car. In this case, the mechanic couldn't even identify where the engine in the car was, but more or less was suggesting I change out my tires, when what I was asking for was a new radiator. Yikes.

Marketing Is A Hell Of A Skill

Anyone who's taken even an entry level course in marketing can see the genius behind it all. The Geek Squad isn't catering to people who are already technically inclined. They're aiming directly for the everyday consumer who just wants their stuff to work. When they think of a geek, they think of a person in khakis, a button up shirt, and a tool belt that is sure to include things like a cellphone that clips in, or most certainly an ID badge on one of those batman tools. Wouldn't you know it, that's _just_ the look they're sporting. They stand out in a store of blue and white, they're wearing nice contrasting vibrant orange and black. A dedicated booth, and a "service area" behind plexi-glass. It looks professional! Heck, there's even flashy advertising videos which (by default) must contain some edgy hard rock licks in the background soundtrack if only to be talked over with cheery mission statements and employees that just seem -way- too happy with their job. Seems pretty bad-ass doesn't it. That's what they want you to think.  

But, Should You Trust Flashy Marketing?

Well, typically I'd say no. It's easy for me to say that as a super small business who doesn't have the marketing budget to buy a radio commercial on college radio at 4:00am. And, if you look at it, if I was shell out big and buy a whole host of Facebook Ads, and run TV commercials, I don't have the manpower to handle that influx of clients. Regardless, it's never been my strategy to lie to clients. Even in my days doing front line tech support for a nationwide Internet provider. While most techs would dismiss a problem as "it's an issue with your computer" or if it was a proven issue with the service provided they'd suggest the customer upgrade their service. It's a quick and easy way to dump calls off and keep your metrics up, but an excellent way to make customers hate your company. Instead, I'd usually take the time to walk them through the problem, ask questions, and almost never try and upsell them. It's a bad look.  




Don't call the Geek Squad.

- Over budget

- Naturally sell their own shit (Hard drives, etc, Insignia)

- Misdiagnose

- "I dont know what a PoE Injector is"

- Large markups

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