In 2011, I was working in technical sales for a very good company called Quanser that provided research and teaching equipment to universities. My territory covered the south and west US and I learned quickly the difference that having an in person meeting would make versus talking on the phone. When the time was right, I’d setup pinpoint visits and try to get as much meeting density as possible.
Often, these would take the form of day long “Rock Star” tours that would start with the first flight out of Toronto and return the last flight out of wherever I was traveling. I could carve a day trip if there were sufficiently large schools in a city that was as far as 1,200 miles away. After creating a lot of homework in these meetings, I could then focus the rest of the week keeping my homework promises to the clients.
Here’s what a typical day-long trip looked like:
As a thought exercise, I was thinking how voice might have helped with these trips:
- An Echo as a back up alarm (I like to have two different form factors for alarms if it’s an early morning flight)
- Voice-based navigation. Nowadays, I enter addresses into my phone through voice and then correct if needed. I used to lug around a GPS on my trips but Google Maps and Android are solid enough to have replaced this need at least 4 years ago.
- Asking about flight status. Before leaving, I would have asked Echo about my flight.
- Dictating texts and emails. I used to have to spend some time in a parking lot writing to clients if I was going to be late. This might have shaved off a minute or two during critical times.
In the end, voice wouldn’t have made a huge difference but it would have added just a smidgen of convenience. However, enough smidgens in enough areas of life and you end up with a lot.