I try to keep things pretty professional and above board on the firm site....attempting to make sure that we don't express too much personal opinion or conjecture, but every once in a while, it's nice to spread a little of "me" on the blog. :) Whenever we do tech support (and who doesn't do it nowadays, whether for family, close friends, sometimes not so close friends, and our co-workers (is it bad that in the list, I put them after not so close friends?....I like all my co-workers....hmmm), what is our first piece of advice.....did you reboot?
If it's a problem with the computer, did you reboot? TV....did you reboot? DVD/Blu-Ray player? Did you reboot? Just recently, I had a problem with my mouse. My mouse is nothing too fancy...a nice little bluetooth logitech diddy that keeps me cord free, brain cancerfied, and roaming around my office like a cat in search of catnip.
Nevertheless, all of the sudden I couldn't right click. Then my left click turned in to my right click. Odd I dare say, as in all the years I have been working with/on/around computers (and that around 25 or so years, so I have some good experience) I have never had the buttons switch on me. Yes, I have had mouses die...and usually a function goes out, then another one, or back in the day the roller ball was just too much of a pain to clean, so we bought a new one or an optical mouse.
So, here I am at my office and my mouse is acting up...so what do I do? I reboot. Turn off the computer. Computer comes back up, same problem.....ugggghhhh. Next I do a little googling...after all, isn't that tech supports second line of defense?
I put in "forum" into the search term after a while to see if I can get some discussion on the issue....alas, just a lot of conjecture and posturing by people without real answers. "It could be the software" (Logitech doesn't have the best software) "Have you tried it on a different computer?" (Who has multiple computers sitting around...oh I do!) "I think you should RMA it!" (Well, that doesn't solve my problem now, it solves it in a few weeks/months/years until I go buy a new one.)
After trying all these lovely things, and to no avail, I noticed a little on/off button on the bottom of the mouse. Hmmmm.....reboot is always the answer right? So, what did I do, I turned off the mouse. Lo and behold, the mouse started functioning properly again. It had never occurred to me that the piece of equipment to reboot was the mouse.
Which brings me to my conjecture/philosophical muse of the day.......if you've got the basic bit of advice that everyone should follow as the starting block (in this case, all tech problems are solved first by trying to reboot), the question is, what do you apply that to?
All too often I work with start-ups and mature tech companies alike that hit this wall. Things stop functioning, work becomes a drudge, products we produce aren't nearly as interesting or compelling, customer service goes down the toilet, all the predecessors for a company on the brink of extinction, and what do we do then? What do we reboot? Investors take one approach often of kicking out the founders. Or at least moving them away from CEO roles. Mature corps do the same thing by firing their CEO's. Employees go on vacation.
All of these are a form of a reboot....but all too often, they aren't the reboot required. Regularly, I think a lot of corporations thing they need to "reboot" by starting at the top and that will fire the cylinders all the way down the pipe and the company will start producing again. In some cases, that isn't the reboot required. Maybe you need to think of things a little differently, take some time away from crazy schedules, meetings, and events, and just think. Maybe you need to reboot your mouse.
Just thoughts, apply as you will!