No no, today we’re going to learn from a cat from the world of physicists and thought experiments.
So, a hypothetical cat.
Meet Schrödinger's cat.
Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment used to discuss a theory in quantum mechanics.
Now, I’m aware it’s kinda weird, but it’s going somewhere. I promise.
So, Schrödinger set up a *hypothetical* situation where the cat was temporarily put inside a box, which was then closed.
The thought experiment goes on to say that… since we cannot see into the box, and cats go to sleep whenever they blooming want to*… we cannot ever know 100% for sure if the cat in the box is awake or not at any particular time.
The only way to be sure is to open the box and look.
*Quick Aside: For those wondering, the actual thought experiment involves a radioactive substance, a Geiger–Müller counter, a hammer, and a vial of poison, but that’s a bit heavy for a blog on property technology. You can learn more about the full thought experiment here.
And no, Erwin Schrödinger never actually put any cats in any boxes. The thought experiment allegedly led him to abandon quantum mechanics and write about biology instead.
Highlighting the unreliability of flex space data.
Recently I’ve found myself increasingly referring to this thought experiment to explore a common scenario regarding flex space data.
Here’s how I get a little help from Schrödinger’s cat to dig into tech stack inefficiencies:
All over the global commercial real estate market, across hundreds of systems and tools, over a million times a week, someone somewhere clicks a ‘save’ button.
These buttons could be for anything related to running a flex workspace or similar business.
From updating pricing on a booking platform, to uploading a new offer to a marketing channel, to sending a response to an availability request, or a hundred other things. The list goes on and on.
Often, clicking any of those buttons is like putting that information (or data) inside the box, instead of the cat.
And here’s why.
Instead of the cat’s random sleepiness, there’s an ever-growing list of internal, external, or even global actions that could change whether the saved information is still valid (awake) or incorrect (asleep).
So let’s take a look at a silly example, to illustrate the point.
Our friend Erwin is updating some information, let’s say pricing and availability, in a system they use internally.
Before they click save, they manually check and review that the entered information is correct and matches the latest information they have access to.
Maybe even checks it twice. Just in case.
And then they happily click save and head off to pour a cup of well-earned coffee.
But what if – within the next second, minute, hour, day, or week – any of the following happens:
Each of these could at the very least require an update to be made to the just-saved information.
And, of course, there’s a possibility that none of these may happen either.
You wouldn’t know until you open the hypothetical box and looked in to confirm.
And that’s the massive issue with data unreliability across CRE and flex space businesses.
Without Syncaroo, the moment any ‘save’ button is clicked… the submitted data immediately can’t be trusted 100% to be either valid or invalid. Not until it’s manually checked.
And even with 50/50 odds, there’s just too much risk for any business, broker, booking app, operator, or customer to tolerate.
So everyone involved is stuck confirming data.
Opening that box (by sending emails, making calls, or both) again.
And again and again and again.
You get the point.
Some workarounds for the flex data paradox.
Platforms, landlords, and operators are increasingly exploring ways to completely side-step this resource-intensive game of checking and rechecking information.
Platforms of all kinds are integrating with data-synchronicity platforms, making it easier for operators like you to automate workflows across interconnected systems.
Landlords and operators of all sizes are bringing in data-flow experts to help map out, plan, implement and manage their synchronicity and operating stacks.
And even though there’s a long way to go before we can just let the cat sleep (or not sleep) all day, I’m truly excited about the progress being made across the industry.
Want to start improving and streamlining your data-driven workflows?
Get started with Syncaroo today.