Remember the Bump App? It promised to rid of us of business cards forever. And I was completely on board with this development. You could walk up to somebody with the app, bump phones, and exchange contact info. It didn't always work -- which could put you in an awkwardly prolonged fist bump exchange with a complete stranger -- but this app was Jetson territory and I wanted in.
Of course, like all good ideas, it got bought by Google and died. So much for progress.
Instead I've returned to collecting these cardstock relics. I just got a handful of cards at a conference last week and I'm actually using them to follow-up with people. I love the place where I keep them, a leather card album of my dad's, imprinted with his name. It's nice to look through and remember people I've met at different times. But I still want the future.
Most cards look like ads, so to me, they're dated. They don't fit with our dynamic online expressions of personal branding. Cards have no sense of humor or style. I think that's why Moo is doing so well with their highly stylized cards, bringing letterpress quality to the masses. They are minimalist and interesting. I would want these cards on my desk.
(Well, I just said they weren't ad-like, then proceeded to basically write an ad for them. Forgive me.)
The most important part of this simple communication tool is the person whose name is on it. And even on traditional cards, you can pick up on someone's personality. I have a computer guru friend who once filled up the front and back of his business card with 20 IT tasks you could hire him for. It was microscopic print that I doubt anyone could read, but the design was uniquely him. I know a woman with a picture of a mountain on her card. It has nothing to do with her profession. It's just her. Mine has only a web address and email. No paper or phone info. That's just me.
So ignore my card snobbery and just be you. At least Google doesn't control the business card market. Yet.