|Image [cc] Clive Darra|
I started a very robust conversation with some colleagues the other day, including Dan and Jane of this site, who I am certain you will hear from soon, about a decision my team made to opt out of business cards.
The initial conversation came up because I often get asked for cards. I don’t carry them. I haven’t for years. I prefer not to carry paper around. See, I have kids, and kids get into handbags. Consequently, I don’t want to carry anything that is not essential, especially things that can be taken and squirreled away as “treasure”, making me spend hours searching for them to the chorus of “I don’t know where it is,” or items that can be can be used as a Chinese Stars or Mini-Frisbees.
I tried the chic card holder, the antique card clip, stuffing cards in my wallet or pocket–none of them worked for me (the card-in-pocket idea caused a lot of laundry issues BTW). My team and I discussed adopting QR codes on the cards and apps that scan cards, among other things, and finally came to the conclusion; why not just use our business contact info on our smart phones?
Through my discussion with colleagues, I uncovered a dizzying amount of opinions and questions. The Artists loved their cards and expressed that when you give a card, you symbolically give something of yourself to the recipient. The Technologists used LinkedIn (I use this as well). The Socially-Minded voiced concern that not everyone has a business phone, much less a smart phone—there was also a side conversation here about use of private phones for business purposes, The Environmentalists expressed dismay about the waste surrounding business cards. The Opportunists summed it up by questioning how they would get a free lunch if they didn’t have cards to put in the fishbowl. All valid points and food for thought, readers.
Ultimately, our team decision is an optional one. No one is required to use their contacts as a connection mechanism, But we are raising it as a consideration. It saves money and trees and keeps my lint screen clean. Every little bit counts.