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Was talking to probably my oldest friend (met in grade six) yesterday on the phone. We talk about once a year now. After high school we all went off to work. At about twenty two, my brother and I decided to go to university and my friend remained in the workforce. For the last 20 years, he has worked continuously in the auto industry as a service manager or general manager of about 8 locations ranging from small shops to large dealerships. At 18, he ran a small Shell station with two bays across the street from his house. He’s presently at Benz and before that Land Rover.

I mentioned Nomad ETS to him. Couple things that he said when he found it online stand out:

1. “Wow. I better show this to the guys”.

2. in the industry, when head office gets behind a new initiative, adoption at the dealership level can be pretty fast.

He also said that his technicians are rabid about what they do; that they live and sleep cars and automechanics. There’s often no real line between work and leisure. Working on, and taking about, cars and other machinery doesn’t stop when the whistle blows. (This BTW, in my mind, marks the difference between a profession or calling and a ‘job’). He didn’t suggest this was unique to Benz.

From my experience, where an area of activity involves a profession or calling and not a ‘job’, information travels faster within that area and new practices are adopted more quickly. This is often because members of that profession or calling perceive that they have an interest in maintaining or raising general standards.

What is really interesting about Nomad ETS is that it may end up being even more disruptive than the auto industry intends. Before long, it will allow car owners and other tinkerers to be guided through basic maintenance procedures on their driveways. This is a huge market – the consumer market. I predict that by the end of this decade, Nomad will be a general purpose tool used by the public to assemble toys, bicycles and Ikea furniture.


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