Bad Girl, Good Business

The 100 Years Club Installment #63: RoboNancy…a Life in Tech

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I wrote a book about AI in marketing seven years ago. About 99% of my predictions (or 109.89 of the items in the list) are now coming to life.

Of course, everyone is now jumping on that bandwagon. And then, like many technology innovations, people will stop talking about it as a thing and just mainstream it into how we work.

How do I know that?

Because I’ve lived long enough to see the progression of technology.

That’s why I am especially annoyed when people assume that I can’t possibly understand automation because of my age.

In fact, I used AI to generate the feature photo for this blog post. (It still has a ways to go…I had to tinker with my brand colors and fonts and fix the spelling.)

How did it all begin?

In my teens, I had a tiny black-and-white TV. How groovy was that? I no longer had to watch with the family in the living room.

Miniature things are now commonplace. I just bought an Echo as a travel companion. I already own five — four in my home and one in my car.

I’m not only a fan of AI; these days, I’m learning as much as I can about voice tech and sports tech. That field, along with age tech and health tech, is where lots of investment dollars are going.

But now, back to my own automation journey…

My IBM Selectric (which eliminated the need for correction tape and Wite-Out) was a game-changer in productivity. It now sits in my storage unit, along with my dad’s Mac SE30 (one of the first PCs—my father was also a pioneer of fetal ultrasound, which is where I got my gadget gene).

My younger brother worked on the precursor to Siri, and my older brother is a medical researcher, so we’re clearly a geeky clan.

I’ve time-traveled…

  • From a rotary dial phone to a bag phone to a Blackberry to a smartphone.
  • From helping to build the first “brochureware” website for Mastercard to using Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress like a pro.
  • From pen pals and postage stamps to AOL chat rooms to Facebook (in 2005), Twitter (now X),  Pinterest, and Instagram (the days they launched).

I believe that, in many ways, my generation is well-equipped to handle the adoption of new technologies. What’s now known as CX and UI is simply human common sense.

We should build, enhance and incorporate technologies that serve real human needs, are easy to adapt, and improve our lives. 

I’ve seen so many tech companies crash and burn because inexperienced founders get cocky and spend on plush offices, wild offsites, and the wrong people to help them scale.

We tech OGs will likely ask, “What specific problem does this app or automation solve?” rather than say, “That’s so cool!”

So, next time you’re working with someone my age (especially a woman), don’t assume we don’t “get” AI, technology, robotics, or how to use our phones.

It may not be my “first language,” but, like sex, it sometimes gets better with age!

Be sure to listen to my podcast, The Geezer-Proofer for more insights into life >50!



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