“Technology in the long-run is irrelevant”. That is what a customer of mine told me when I made a presentation to him about a new product. I had been talking about the product’s characteristics and rewards and listed “state-of-the-art technology” or some thing to that effect, as one of them. That is when he made his statement. I realized later that he was right, at least inside the context of how I used “Technologies” in my presentation. But I began considering about whether he could be appropriate in other contexts as effectively.

What is Technologies?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


a: the practical application of knowledge specifically in a unique area: engineering two

b: a capability provided by the sensible application of understanding


: a manner of accomplishing a task in particular making use of technical processes, solutions, or knowledge


: the specialized elements of a specific field of endeavor

Wikipedia defines it as:

Technologies (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, talent, cunning of hand” and -λογία, -logia[1]) is the making, modification, usage, and expertise of tools, machines, strategies, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to resolve a trouble, increase a preexisting resolution to a trouble, attain a target, deal with an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, which includes machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly have an effect on human as effectively as other animal species’ capacity to handle and adapt to their organic environments. The term can either be applied typically or to distinct areas: examples contain construction technologies, healthcare technologies, and details technologies.

Both definitions revolve around the exact same factor – application and usage.

Technology is an enabler

Many persons mistakenly think it is technology which drives innovation. However from the definitions above, that is clearly not the case. It is opportunity which defines innovation and technology which enables innovation. Feel of the classic “Construct a greater mousetrap” example taught in most organization schools. You may well have the technologies to construct a superior mousetrap, but if you have no mice or the old mousetrap operates effectively, there is no opportunity and then the technologies to build a better a single becomes irrelevant. On the other hand, if you are overrun with mice then the opportunity exists to innovate a item making use of your technology.

Another instance, one particular with which I am intimately familiar, are consumer electronics startup organizations. I’ve been related with both those that succeeded and those that failed. Each possessed special leading edge technologies. The difference was opportunity. These that failed could not find the opportunity to develop a meaningful innovation making use of their technologies. In reality to survive, these firms had to morph oftentimes into something entirely diverse and if they were fortunate they could take advantage of derivatives of their original technology. More often than not, the original technologies wound up in the scrap heap. Technologies, hence, is an enabler whose ultimate value proposition is to make improvements to our lives. In order to be relevant, it needs to be used to create innovations that are driven by chance.

Technology as a competitive advantage?

A lot of corporations list a technologies as a single of their competitive advantages. Is this valid? In some instances yes, but In most instances no.

Technologies develops along two paths – an evolutionary path and a revolutionary path.

A revolutionary technologies is one which enables new industries or enables solutions to complications that had been previously not possible. Semiconductor technology is a good instance. Not only did it spawn new industries and goods, but it spawned other revolutionary technologies – transistor technology, integrated circuit technology, microprocessor technologies. All which give a lot of of the solutions and services we consume today. But is semiconductor technologies a competitive benefit? Seeking at the quantity of semiconductor companies that exist nowadays (with new ones forming every single day), I’d say not. How about microprocessor technologies? Once more, no. Lots of microprocessor providers out there. How about quad core microprocessor technologies? Not as many organizations, but you have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of businesses constructing custom quad core processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and so on). So again, not considerably of a competitive benefit. Competitors from competing technologies and effortless access to IP mitigates the perceived competitive benefit of any specific technologies. Android vs iOS is a superior example of how this functions. Each operating systems are derivatives of UNIX. Apple utilised their technologies to introduce iOS and gained an early industry benefit. Having said that, Google, using their variant of Unix (a competing technology), caught up reasonably rapidly. The causes for this lie not in the underlying technologies, but in how the solutions produced doable by these technologies had been brought to industry (totally free vs. walled garden, and so on.) and the variations in the strategic visions of every organization.

Evolutionary technology is 1 which incrementally builds upon the base revolutionary technology. But by it really is pretty nature, the incremental modify is easier for a competitor to match or leapfrog. Take for example wireless cellphone technologies. Company V introduced 4G goods prior to Organization A and when it may perhaps have had a short term benefit, as quickly as Firm A introduced their 4G solutions, the benefit due to technology disappeared. The consumer went back to picking out Organization A or Organization V based on price, service, coverage, what ever, but not based on technology. Thus technology may possibly have been relevant in the short term, but in the lengthy term, became irrelevant.

In today’s world, technologies tend to speedily turn out to be commoditized, and inside any unique technologies lies the seeds of its own death.

Technology’s Relevance

This write-up was written from the prospective of an finish consumer. From a developer/designer standpoint things get murkier. The further 1 is removed from the technologies, the much less relevant it becomes. To a developer, the technologies can look like a item. An enabling product, but a product nonetheless, and therefore it is extremely relevant. businessupside.com/2023/01/06/5-best-youtube-to-mp3-free-converters-music-lovers-need-right-now makes use of a proprietary signal processing technologies to enable solutions that meet a set of market place requirements and therefore the technologies and what it enables is relevant to them. Their shoppers are more concerned with how it sounds, what is the price, what is the quality, and so on., and not so a lot with how it is achieved, as a result the technologies employed is much less relevant to them.