Was Friends the Downfall of Western Civilization?

RossInteresting blog suggesting that the TV show Friends was the downfall of Western Civilization. His point is that Ross was the smart guy on the show and always got made fun of for being smart – much like the kids he coached in his high school chess club. The “dumbing down” of America…

This rung a particular bell with me.  I’ll review two incidents where RunSignUp was the “Ross” and laughed at by large organizations who thought we were too technical and too worried about features.

A fairly prominent organization is looking at replacing their home built registration system. A Board Member stated flatly all registration systems are the same and they should just pick the cheapest.  Senior Management has been pretty passive about moving forward on the initiative and seems to be more worried about 0.1% credit card fees than providing a great experience to their partners and customers.  Which is interesting since their partners and customers have been leaving them for other alternatives exactly because of lack of functionality. Unfortunately, their system was hacked recently and they are now having to deal with the aftermath of that.  About a week before the hack, we had pulled out of discussions realizing that the management team was really not interested in the value technology could bring.

A few years ago, a large company in the race business looked at licensing our technology. Again, they were tied up on royalties they would share with us, rather than the difference a great system could bring them and their customers. We decided the company was not really interested in technology and it would have been a bad decision for us to do business with them, and we pulled out of that discussion.

We are OK with being the “Ross of the race registration market”. We know technology matters. Things like the infrastructure improvements we just made, or the Referral Program that customers are using to increase their registrations by an average of 7-8%, or the highly SEO and speed optimized websites designed to maximize conversions we give all races and clubs for free make a difference. Thankfully, it seems a lot of races, clubs, stores and timers like Ross 🙂

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