Interview with Len at DVI

You’ve been servicing PC’s in a small community for a long time – almost 2 decades at this location. Tell us what that’s like.

In the beginning, it was a real change. For me, I really thought we’d be only a little further into the burbs but basically the same. It was a bit of culture shock at first. In 97 there was Betty Ann’s shop and school (now retired), and a couple other ones that came and went in the course of a year or 2. There was no London Drugs or Canadian Tire, everyone had Intel 386 or 486 processors running Windows 95 or 98 and they were all trying to get on Sunshine Net with their 56K modems and too many interrupts for another comm port. At least it was interesting.

Not so anymore?

Oh, it’ll never get dull. Even though hardware and software have become more integrated the core issues of data integrity, privacy and security (and virus and malware removal after the fact) and network sharing of one sort or another continue to advance and keep you on your toes. To survive in business over the long haul you find ways to challenge your knowledge during the slow periods and that keeps it interesting too.

What have you been working on during downtime lately?

Well, I finally got back to this website. I originally didn’t want to do website work because I don’t think I have a good designers eye. But I opened another eCommerce store a couple years ago in a different market altogether (Vapes), and over time I got the bug. I’m up to 3 active e Comm sites (Another) and another on the back-burner until DVI is up and running.

Do you think the coast needs a DVI Tech store?

No, not really. What got me excited about web development is it opens up the potential to connect with like-minded people anywhere. There’s definitely a lot of people on the coast that could use a drone, a new gaming card or whatever but anyone who searches for those items in Canada can check them out here and maybe discover some other tech while they’re here. My other sites are more specifically focused but when I was deciding what to do about a new website for DVI the idea of a tech store that doesn’t necessarily carry everything kind of appealed to me. I find those bigger sites hard to discover stuff in because I don’t know where to look for a lot of new tech I haven’t yet heard about if you know what I mean. So I wanted to build a site that has the tech products a browser (human) could just go find neat stuff they would want to know more about.

How are your web store prices?

We check them against reputable sites and we’re usually within a percent or 2 higher or lower. It’s pretty tight margins in tech as just about everyone knows, so if you push the price down too far knock-offs and less reputable practices can creep in. In my own shopping, I’ve learned to buy in the middle of the pack, from a site I get a good feel from. Any sites offering way lower prices may be just unloading an older version or over-charging on shipping. It’s a risk I got tired of taking.

What advice would you have for a tech looking to establish in a small community?

It probably depends on your temperament. In a smaller community, the slower pace will mean you’ll have to slow your own roll a bit. We charge by the hour and expect people want us to get in, get it fixed and get out but you really have to be willing to take a little more time that you might not get paid for and sometimes that requires follow up visits to keep the users on the right track. It balances out one way or another but generally speaking you take a pay cut for the slower lifestyle.