What the heck is the Relevance of Technology?
“Technology while in the long-run is irrelevant”. That is thats a customer of mine told me whenever i made a presentation to him in terms of a new product.
I had been preaching about the product’s features and benefits plus listed “state-of-the-art technology” or something to this effect, as one of them. Then he made his statement. I realized later that he or she was correct, at least within the context of buying and selling websites used “Technology” in my presentation. But I began pondering whether he could be right in other contexts in addition.
What is Technology?
Merriam-Webster defines them as:
a: the practical application of knowledge especially inside of a particular area: engineering 2
h: a capability given by the program
: a method of accomplishing a task especially using specialised processes, methods, or knowledge
: the specialized elements of a particular field of endeavor
Wikipedia is it as:
Technology (from Ancient τÎχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning with hand”; and -λογÎ¯α, -logia) is a making, modification, usage, and knowledge with tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and strategies for organization, in order to solve a dilemma, improve a preexisting solution to a dilemma, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform specific function. It can also consult the collection of such tools, like machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human together with other animal species’ ability to control and conform to their natural environments. The term can either be reproduced generally or to specific areas: for example construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.
Both definitions revolve around the same task – application and usage.
Technology is undoubtedly an enabler
Many people mistakenly believe its technology which drives innovation. Yet with the definitions above, that is clearly incorrect. It is opportunity which defines technology and technology which enables innovation. Bring to mind the classic “Build a better mousetrap” example taught practically in business schools. You might have the technology to produce a better mousetrap, but if you may have no mice or the old mousetrap helpful, there is no opportunity and then an technology to build a better a person becomes irrelevant. On the other fretting hand, if you are overrun with mice then an opportunity exists to innovate a product employing your technology.
Another example, one with we am intimately familiar, are consumer electronics industries startup companies. I’ve been associated with both the ones succeeded and those that failed. Each possessed unique technologically advanced technologies. The difference was opportunity. The ones failed could not find the possibility for develop a meaningful innovation using its technology. In fact to survive, these companies had to morph oftentimes into something completely different and if they were lucky they could make use of derivatives of their original technology. Often, the original technology wound up while in the scrap heap. Technology, thus, is an enabler whose ultimate value proposition is to help with our lives. In order to often be relevant, it needs to be familiar with create innovations that are driven by way of opportunity.
Technology as a competitive benefits?
Many companies list a technology collectively of their competitive advantages. Is the following valid? In some cases yes, but Usually no.
Technology develops along two paths – an evolutionary path including a revolutionary path.
A revolutionary technology is the one that enables new industries or enables ways to problems that were previously not attainable. Semiconductor technology is a good model. Not only did it spawn innovative industries and products, but it created other revolutionary technologies – transistor know-how, integrated circuit technology, microprocessor technology. All which provide numerous products and services we consume now. But is semiconductor technology a ambitious advantage? Looking at the number of semiconductor companies that you can get today (with new ones forming on a daily basis), I’d say not. How pertaining to microprocessor technology? Again, no. Lots of microprocessor companies to choose from. How about quad core microprocessor know-how? Not as many companies, but you may have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a variety of companies building custom quad main processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etcetera). So again, not much on the competitive advantage. Competition from competing technologies and easy flip open access to IP mitigates the perceived competitive a look at any particular technology. Android vs iOS is an illustration of this how this works. Both operating models are derivatives of UNIX. Apple used their technology to introduce iOS and gained a first market advantage. However, Google, utilizing its variant of Unix (a being competitive technology), caught up relatively immediately. The reasons for this lie not while in the underlying technology, but in how the choices made possible by those technologies were dropped at market (free vs. walled backyard garden, etc. )#) and the differences while in the strategic visions of each company.
Evolutionary technology is the one that incrementally builds upon the base radical technology. But by it’s very design, the incremental change is easier for your competitor to match or leapfrog. Take such as wireless cellphone technology. Company V introduced 4G products in advance of Company A and while it can have had a short term advantage, the minute Company A introduced their 4G products and solutions, the advantage due to technology faded away. The consumer went back to deciding upon Company A or Company V based upon price, service, coverage, whatever, but not based upon technology. Thus technology might have been relevant for the forseeable future, but in the long term, turned irrelevant.
In today’s world, technologies are inclined to quickly become commoditized, and within any particular technology lies the seeds of unique death.
This article was written with the prospective of an end customer. Originating from a developer/designer standpoint things get murkier. The further some may be removed from the technology, the a reduced amount of relevant it becomes. To a construtor, the technology can look like a service. An enabling product, but a supplement nonetheless, and thus it is really relevant. Bose uses a proprietary signal producing technology to enable products that meet some of market requirements and thus the technology and what it enables is applicable to them. Their customers are more occupied with how it sounds, what’s the amount, what’s the quality, etc., and less with how it is achieved, thus the technology used is noticeably less relevant to them.