Recently I have been doing some research in to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for a new product that I am bringing to market later in 2014 and I came across a small piece of work written by a colleague that I initially thought was hilarious, but quickly understood the message underneath.

“Corporate issued PCs look cheap. Image and personal brand are the currency of influence, and first impressions matter. For the same reason they wouldn’t wear cheap shoes, power users don’t want to show up to a meeting with a three-year-old plastic laptop that sends the subliminal message that they aren’t important enough to be given something nice.”

The actual purpose of this quote was around the driver for enabling Mac devices in the enterprise, although I happen to believe this goes far deeper than this relatively small use case. Clearly this hits home hard in the evolving land of BYOD where the user population do actually care about what tools they use to conduct their work and personal lives.

Let’s face it, if you feel good about something, then you generally are pretty successful with whatever it is, so the importance of having the right tool(s) for the job is somewhat critical for success. Those cheap plastic shoes are going to have you slipping around feeling uncomfortable, where the discomfort will cause irritation which will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your day, resulting in sub-optimal work. Worse still could be the mocking / ridiculing that your colleagues and customers may give you for wearing those shoes, knocking your confidence further. Funnily enough, I recall a few years ago having some shoes that I took on a business trip and my customer mocked the shoes reasonably significantly – those shoes did not come home with me from that trip and I vowed to never buy such shoes again – thankfully I had the choice and did not let it happen again – a real confidence knock that’s for sure.

Now, without question, that cheap “plastic laptop” referred to in the quote is going to have a very similar effect with your business acumen and desire to actually do well. Granted some of you out there just get on with it and don’t blame the tools, but those who have the right shoes (and of course the right tools) have a definite advantage.

Bottom line is, do you WANT the advantage to be able to make the deal that the other guy couldn’t? Maybe it is time to change your shoes…