Call me crazy! Part 1

New Age of Business

Call me crazy! Part 1

Why the Carpenter of all people? Why has this new period of mobile innovations fallen at the feet of this unexpecting persona? And to the Tradesman more broadly speaking? Why are the Last Adopters of today’s great tools in fact the herald of the Second Mobile Age? And how can we best serve them using fresh thinking?

Among all professions, these business consumers are viewed as holdouts, as sometimes illiterate, and very often difficult to sell to. In whatever State or Province you find them, they are ‘good with what they got’. It’s widely known that out of all business owners, these guys in particular get bookkeeping and administrative help from their wives. They know their crafts and prefer to stay focused on them. They get help from family because their enterprises are family affairs. Greater than 80% of Trades teams in the United States are made up of 10 people or less, and of that the great majority are teams with less than 5. Estimated size of the Trades sector in USA is 8M. Leaders of these teams focus on job acquisition, staff management, sourcing of materials, milestones and inspections, payroll and cash flow projections.

To be certain, they have many specific habits and needs that makes them a solid niche market on their own. But the powerful insights that studying these groups yields has potential impact far beyond these sectors, spinning out across whole economies. They are not the only Mobile Proprietor but in the social imagination they are the quintessential ‘guy on the go’. Everything is managed on the job and on the move, often 6 days a week. Physical fatigue leaves little time in the evenings to play catch up on a laptop, which holds true for skilled labourers of all kinds. For many, they’d rather avoid the laptop all together and devote home time to family.

All the duties listed above get performed nowadays using the mobile phone under blazing suns and winter skies. Continuous texts and calls, notes, images, important dates and reminders, the flow never ends. The Lead Carpenter / Foreman is an information processing centre doing his best to practice what he loves while buried under the countless hats he must wear. One hand holds his tools, the other his mobile. Should he really be holding on to and fishing out a “phone”? What kind of digital tool should be in his other hand in this second age of mobile?