The California Gold Rush of 1849 was one of the most significant events that shaped American history in the 19th century and it caused an estimated 300,000 people to migrate to the San Francisco area in search of gold. Most of the workers were American, but many arrived from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. Ultimately, $2 billion of gold was recovered.

The impact of the migration was long-lasting as a variety of technological advances in agriculture and transportation were made to meet the needs of the prospectors. The lure of great fortune drew people to California and although much gold was recovered, few were able to convert the opportunity into long term financial success.

One of the greatest opportunities for modern prospectors is within the digital realm. Entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, and existing companies are working feverishly to exploit what seems like daily advances in digital technology to create new companies, products, and services.

How technology helps business growth

Entire sectors of our economy are being reconsidered and recreated, including civic institutions, health care, and most recently financial services. Leaders are using technology to figure out ways to provide more effective and seamless service to constituents and customers. Perhaps most important is that they are simply open to trying something new.

Tolstoy stated in War and Peace that history is made by the movement of the people. The physical movement of people is something that governments are contending with globally right now, but the bigger story is the shift to a digital way of being.

Technology will become part of the background of our lives and always be there. We will become part of it and it part of us. When trying to make sense of the shift to digital, understand that what is happening with digital technology is simply a mirror image of existing human networks and systems.

When working in physical space and with three dimensions, people are tied to the patterns of nature: night and day, the rise and fall of the tides, prevailing winds, the passing of the seasons, or even evolving human culture. Digital space has no limits, no time, and effectively no resistance. This reality enables humans to be everywhere while they are simultaneously grounded in physical space. It also creates a world of endless possibilities.

This is significant because digital tools are enabling people and businesses alike to expand their awareness and reach in the world. It can also increase productivity and empower people to make connections that they would otherwise not perceive.

How technology helps business growth

When an organization is able to make new connections, then it is able to generate potential leads for new business, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of it’s current business processes. Technology is by no means a cure-all to any existing problems that an organization may face, and it may even cause more problems if a new solution is not carefully integrated into a business’s existing processes.

How you use technology to improve the growth of your business depends on what problem you are trying to solve. Are you looking to increase your social media presence? Is your accounting system antiquated? Does your dispersed team need to collaborate better on projects? It is difficult to find a digital tool that can do it all, but asking the right questions up front can help you determine how to find what you need. The more that you can define your problem that you need addressed, the better position you will be in to find a digital tool that can work for you.

Business is still very much about building relationships—especially with other people. If a digital tool can facilitate contact with another human, then it has done it’s job. Don’t let the tool dictate how you do business or interact with others. This is important because technology can enable change, good or bad.

As a modern prospector or business leader, you need to be driving towards providing better services to your clients and anticipating what’s coming next. The right digital tool for your business should help you do that more effectively.

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