June 26, 2013

Five modern technologies that bring a new twist on Mad Men’s nostalgic favorites


Technological advances increase efficiency in the workplace

Ayelet NoffBusiness hasn’t changed much in the 40 some-odd years separating us and the “Mad Men” timeline. What has changed are the tools in which business is conducted. After Mad Men’s final episode, I floated into a nostalgic dream that looked back on how times have changed, but also how they stayed the same.

The office atmosphere in Mad Men captures the audience and draws them in as though they were standing right next to Peggy’s desk themselves. The constant phone ringing, secretaries bustling from office to office distributing handouts and forms, clients coming in and out for short meetings – as much as it may seem nostalgic and reminiscent of the past, are these memories so different than the world we live in today?

In fact, the nature of our workplace hasn’t changed all that much from the Mad Men era. We still continue to do many of the same things that were done in the past- and it looks like we may be continuing to do them in the future. But what has changed from the era of cigarettes and whiskey at work? How has technology changed and developed how we function in the work-place and how has it made things run more smoothly?

Conference meetings {Conference calls & Hangouts}

Google hangouts

1As people who run most of our days between meetings and more meetings, one thing that catches our attention when watching Don and his company at work:  the quick meetings that take longer to get to than they actually last. Today, when we want to catch up with our client or run an idea by him all we need to do is have a quick video chat or better yet, arrange a whole 12 participant hangout. Google Hangouts make this incredibly convenient.

Presentations {Projector/slideshow}


2Remember how every presentation Don Draper had to present to a client involved actual posters, coal sketches and an extra set of hands to hold the poster for him. In 2013, you don’t have to carry slides, get your hands dirty or even waste one of your worker’s time on carrying a projector to the meeting. You simply have all you need in your mobile device. Slideshare makes sharing presentations extra simple.


3Sometimes there is an older technology that you absolutely have to use. If you are developing apps for the insurance, banking, travel, or healthcare industries, there is a good chance that you will have to integrate faxing or e-faxing services into your application.  InterFAX, has built a robust API that allows for its efaxing services to be quickly and easily deployed in a range of applications.

Clock in and out

Pay Record

4Punch cards are so outdated. The old fashioned machines took more than just paper and ink, they took time. Today we let our mobile devices do all the work for us. Why have it take more time than it needs to?

Deliveries {Fedex Mobile}

Fedex Mobile

5When Joanne had to make purchases for the office, deliveries could take a lifetime. It involved calling, waiting for a delivery guy, shipping and waiting for confirmation that the delivery has been completed. Today, with mobile apps like FedEx Mobile, we just hop online and with a tap of a button and 24 hours later the delivery will be sitting at your door.

I am sure that while reading this post, many other legacy technologies which survived the test of time came to your mind. Please share them with me in the comments.

Which technological advances have made you more efficient in the workplace?Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

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