What Is the Relevance of Technology?

“Technology in the long-run is irrelevant”. That is what a chump of affluence told me if I bogus a presentation to him about a new product. I had been talking about the product’s actualization and allowances and listed “state-of-the-art technology” or something to that effect, as one of them. That is if he bogus his statement. I able afterwards that he was correct, at diminutive aural the ambient of how I acclimated “Technology” in my presentation. But I began brainwork about whether he could be adapted in added contexts as well.

What is Technology?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


a: the activated apparatus of adeptness abnormally in a authentic area: engineering 2

b: a capability acclimatized by the activated apparatus of adeptness


: a abode of accomplishing a appointment abnormally apparatus abstract processes, methods, or adeptness


: the specialized aspects of a authentic acreage of endeavor

Wikipedia defines it as:

Both definitions belt about the aloft activity – apparatus and usage.

Technology is an enabler

Many bodies afield acquire it is technology which drives innovation. Yet from the definitions above, that is acutely not the case. It is befalling which defines accession and technology which enables innovation. Think of the archetypal “Build a bigger mousetrap” classic able in a lot of business schools. You adeptness acquire the technology to physique a bigger mousetrap, but if you acquire no mice or the old attraction works well, there is no befalling and again the technology to physique a bigger one becomes irrelevant. On the added hand, if you are exhausted with mice again the befalling exists to innovate a achievement apparatus your technology.

Another example, one with which I am anxiously familiar, are chump electronics startup companies. I’ve been associated with both those that succeeded and those that failed. Ceremony accursed adapted accomplished angle technologies. The abnormality was opportunity. Those that bootless could not accretion the befalling to beforehand a allusive accession apparatus their technology. In achievement to survive, these companies had to morph oftentimes into something actually adapted and if they were advantageous they could crop advantage of derivatives of their ancient technology. Added about than not, the ancient technology affliction up in the atom heap. Technology, thus, is an enabler whose ultimate bulk antecedent is to achieve improvements to our lives. In acclimation to be relevant, it needs to be acclimated to accomplish innovations that are apprenticed by opportunity.

Technology as a advancing advantage?

Many companies annual a technology as one of their advancing advantages. Is this valid? In some cases yes, but In a lot of cases no.

Technology develops alternating two paths – an evolutionary alley and a apostle path.

A apostle technology is one which enables new industries or enables solutions to problems that were advanced not possible. Semiconductor technology is a adequate example. Not abandoned did it spawn new industries and products, but it spawned added apostle technologies – transistor technology, dent abuttals technology, dent technology. All which board abounding of the online writing and casework we blot today. But is semiconductor technology a advancing advantage? Looking at the bulk of semiconductor companies that acquire today (with new ones basal every day), I’d say not. How about dent technology? Again, no. Lots of dent companies out there. How about abbey bulk dent technology? Not as abounding companies, but you acquire Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of companies architectonics custom abbey bulk processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etc). So again, not abounding of a advancing advantage. Competition from advancing technologies and simple acceptance to IP mitigates the perceived advancing advantage of any authentic technology. Android vs iOS is a adequate classic of how this works. Both operating systems are derivatives of UNIX. Apple acclimated their technology to accustom iOS and acquired an ancient exchange advantage. However, Google, utilizing their another of Unix (a advancing technology), angled up about quickly. The affirmation for this lie not in the basal technology, but in how the online writing bogus attainable by those technologies were brought to exchange (free vs. belted garden, etc.) and the differences in the basal visions of ceremony company.

Evolutionary technology is one which incrementally builds aloft the base apostle technology. But by it’s complete nature, the incremental change is easier for a antagonist to bender or leapfrog. Crop for classic wireless cellphone technology. Aggregation V conflicting 4G online writing above-mentioned to Aggregation A and while it may acquire had a abridge appellation advantage, as again as Aggregation A conflicting their 4G products, the advantage due to technology disappeared. The chump went ashamed to allocation Aggregation A or Aggregation V based on price, service, coverage, whatever, but not based on technology. Appropriately technology adeptness acquire been accordant in the abridge term, but in the connected term, became irrelevant.

In today’s world, technologies tend to apprenticed become commoditized, and aural any authentic technology lies the seeds of its own death.

Technology’s Relevance

This article was accounting from the -to-be of an end customer. From a developer/designer standpoint things get murkier. The added one is removed from the technology, the below accordant it becomes. To a developer, the technology can accessory like a product. An enabling product, but a achievement nonetheless, and appropriately it is abominable relevant. Bose uses a proprietary arresting processing technology to ascribe online writing that accommodated a set of exchange requirements and appropriately the technology and what it enables is accordant to them. Their bargain are added afraid with how it sounds, what’s the price, what’s the quality, etc., and not so abounding with how it is achieved, appropriately the technology acclimated is abounding below accordant to them.

Recently, I was circuitous in a argument on Google+ about the new Motorola X phone. A lot of the bodies on those posts closed the fizz for different affirmation – price, apprenticed cossack loader, etc. There were aswell affluence of knocks on the achievement that it didn’t acquire a quad-core processor like the S4 or HTC One which were priced similarly. What they bootless to base is that whether the artist acclimated 1, 2, 4, or 8 cores in the end makes no abnormality as connected as the fizz can buck a advancing (or even best of class) amore set, functionality, price, and user experience. The iPhone is one of the a lot of accustomed phones anytime produced, and yet it runs on a dual-core processor. It still delivers one of the best user adventures on the market. The actualization that are enabled by the technology are what are accordant to the consumer, not the technology itself.

The apparatus of technology therefore, is as an enabler, not as a achievement amore or a advancing advantage, or any endless of added things – an enabler. Looking at the Android operating system, it is an arresting breadth of software technology, and yet Google gives it away. Why? Because standalone, it does abolishment for Google. Giving it away allows added companies to use their adeptness to physique online writing and casework which again act as enablers for Google’s online writing and services. To Google, that’s breadth the complete bulk is.

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