December 10, 2008

Creativity vs Control: Beating Your Larger Competitors

Our distrust is very expensive.
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm behind a corporate firewall attempting to access websites. I say "attempting" because so many family-friendly sites are blocked. A subversive actuary?

Here are some forbidden sites:
  • I've been experimenting with ways to share my presentations with you by storing HD video, MP3 audio, PowerPoints and PDFs (worked last week)
  • another site for hosting PowerPoints
  • an excellent way to market yourself if you don't have a website (see post)
  • where Google hosts this blog
  • where Google stores the family-friendly images used on this blog
  • another experiment to help you (also Google-owned)
Why Block Access?
The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.
--- Henry Stimson
Why trust employees when you can block them instead? Naturally, there are good corporate reasons for controls, especially in financial institutions. We won't debate them here. We'll look at how you benefit instead.

There are apparently ways to bypass corporate control with proxies but this risky. You can probably be tracked. How would you justify your actions? I can't tell you what's involved because those sites are also blocked ...

These solutions are easier:
  • do your creative work from home
  • go to a coffee shop with free Internet access
  • use your own mobile broadband Internet, which has other advantages (see post)
To safeguard data, some organizations will even
  • disable USB flash drives
  • install CD/DVD drives that read but not write information
Again, there are good reasons for this. Again, there are workarounds like emailing files (e.g., through Google Mail, which allows attachments up to 20 MB) or taking printouts. If you don't have a corporate IT department, you may not have known that your competitors in larger organizations face restrictions.

How You Benefit
Think of what imposed controls mean: you have a competitive advantage against your larger competitors. You can send your clients timely links that competitors can't even access. You can create an interesting recording (video or audio) describing your services and place it online for prospects to find and share. This can warm them up enough to contact you. What can your competitors do? They've been locked out of large, popular parts of the Internet.

In The Meantime
In the meantime, I'll look for places where you can access the stuff I'm posting to help you increase your revenue. I've got new ideas. You know how subversives are.

Did you hear that knock at the door. Gotta go. Might be the authorities. Here to offer me unfettered Internet access ... in prison.


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