Dropbox Featured in Forbes; Tools Should “Just Work”

Last week I wrote about how the Dropbox service prevented minor embarrassment when my presentation slides weren’t loaded on the presentation laptop.

I finally got around to reading the October edition of Forbes magazine and saw Lee Gomes’ Digital Tools column.

Click here to read Forget Disruption. Dive Deep Instead on Forbes.com.

The point of the column is how Dropbox programmers worked extremely hard to tackle some very difficult code, yet the result is a simple and elegant program that just works. Once you “get” the concept of Dropbox and start using it, you wonder how you ever lived without it.

The beauty of Dropbox is there’s nothing to think about. You don’t need to read a manual. Dropbox just runs in the background, synchronizing files, backing them up, and even tracking revision changes, all without requiring user intervention. When something bad happens to files stored on Dropbox, you’re happy it’s there to rescue you (often from your own stupidity after “accidentally” deleting your latest market commentary newsletter).

How does this apply to financial planning and wealth management? Think of the many systems involved in an adviser’s practice, all with varying levels of complexity. I receive many questions about which program is the best for CRM, document management, or any of the other core adviser systems, and I often gravitate to the same answer.

The best program is the one that just works, where advisers don’t have to think to get work done or capture information. The best tools have extensive programming under the covers, but feature an elegant, simple, and easy to use interface.

Think about this when contacting vendors and VARs about the latest and greatest adviser tool. Does the program “work?” Or are you required to follow a myriad of cascading tabs, nested menus, and button clicks to access what should be core functionality?



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