What Is the Relevance of Technology?
“technological know-how within the lengthy-run is inappropriate”. That is what a customer of mine instructed me when I made a presentation to him a couple of new product. I had been speaking concerning the product’s features and advantages and listed “today’s science” or something to that outcome, as one among them. That is when he made his assertion. I noticed later that he was correct, as a minimum within the context of how I used “science” in my presentation. But i started fascinated with whether he might be right in other contexts as well.
What’s technological know-how?
Merriam-Webster defines it as:
a: the useful utility of potential especially in a specific field: engineering 2 <medical technology>
b: a capability given via the sensible application of knowledge <a car’s fuel-saving technology>
: a fashion of conducting a assignment principally utilizing technical methods, methods, or competencies
: the specialized points of a specified discipline of exercise <educational technology>
Wikipedia defines it as:
science (from Greek τÎχνη, techne, “art, talent, foxy of hand”; and -λογÎ¯α, -logia) is the making, change, utilization, and skills of instruments, machines, procedures, crafts, systems, and approaches of institution, with a purpose to resolve a obstacle, give a boost to a preexisting approach to a drawback, reap a purpose, manage an applied enter/output relation or perform a certain perform. It may well additionally refer to the gathering of such tools, together with equipment, modifications, preparations and approaches. Technologies vastly have an effect on human as good as other animal species’ capacity to manage and adapt to their ordinary environments. The time period can both be utilized ordinarily or to designated areas: examples comprise construction science, clinical science, and knowledge technology.
Both definitions revolve across the same thing – utility and usage.
Technology is an enabler
Many persons mistakenly consider it’s technological know-how which drives innovation. Yet from the definitions above, that’s naturally now not the case. It’s possibility which defines innovation and science which permits innovation. Consider of the basic “build a better mousetrap” instance taught in most trade faculties. You might have the science to build a better mousetrap, but if you have no mice or the old mousetrap works well, there’s no opportunity after which the science to construct a greater one turns into beside the point. On the other hand, in case you are overrun with mice then the possibility exists to innovate a product utilizing your technology.
One other example, one with which i’m intimately acquainted, are consumer electronics startup corporations. I have been associated with each those who succeeded and those that failed. Every possessed exact main area technologies. The difference was possibility. Those who failed might not to find the opportunity to enhance a significant innovation utilizing their science. Correctly to outlive, these corporations needed to morph routinely into whatever wholly exceptional and if they have been fortunate they might take competencies of derivatives of their usual technology. More as a rule than now not, the common technological know-how wound up within the scrap heap. Science, hence, is an enabler whose superb value proposition is to make upgrades to our lives. With the intention to be primary, it wishes to be used to create innovations which are pushed by way of opportunity.
Science as a aggressive potential?
Many businesses list a technology as considered one of their aggressive advantages. Is that this legitimate? In some circumstances yes, however ordinarily no.
Technological know-how develops along two paths – an evolutionary direction and a innovative course.
A progressive technological know-how is one which allows new industries or permits solutions to problems that were previously not possible. Semiconductor technological know-how is a good instance. No longer handiest did it spawn new industries and merchandise, but it surely spawned different revolutionary applied sciences – transistor science, integrated circuit science, microprocessor science. All which provide most of the products and offerings we consume at present. But is semiconductor science a competitive expertise? Looking at the quantity of semiconductor businesses that exist at present (with new ones forming daily), i might say no longer. How about microprocessor technology? Again, no. Plenty of microprocessor organizations in the market. How about quad core microprocessor science? Not as many corporations, but you could have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of companies building customized quad core processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etc). So again, not so much of a aggressive knowledge. Competition from competing technologies and effortless access to IP mitigates the perceived competitive advantage of any specific science. Android vs iOS is an effective example of how this works. Each operating methods are derivatives of UNIX. Apple used their technological know-how to introduce iOS and won an early market competencies. Nevertheless, Google, utilising their variant of Unix (a competing technological know-how), caught up relatively quickly. The explanations for this lie no longer in the underlying technological know-how, but in how the merchandise made viable via these technologies were delivered to market (free vs. Walled garden, and so forth.) and the variations within the strategic visions of every enterprise.
Evolutionary technology is one which incrementally builds upon the bottom revolutionary science. But by using it is very nature, the incremental alternate is easier for a competitor to check or leapfrog. Take for instance wi-fi phone technological know-how. Manufacturer V presented 4G merchandise previous to manufacturer A and even as it’s going to have had a short term expertise, as soon as corporation A offered their 4G merchandise, the skills because of science disappeared. The client went again to selecting manufacturer A or manufacturer V based on price, provider, coverage, anything, but now not established on technological know-how. For this reason technological know-how could had been vital in the quick time period, however in the long run, grew to be beside the point.
In brand new world, applied sciences tend to swiftly come to be commoditized, and within any precise technological know-how lies the seeds of its own death.
Technological know-how’s Relevance
this article was once written from the potential of an finish customer. From a developer/clothier standpoint matters get murkier. The extra one is eliminated from the technology, the less significant it turns into. To a developer, the technological know-how can seem like a product. An enabling product, but a product on the other hand, and as a consequence it is extremely principal. Bose uses a proprietary signal processing technological know-how to permit merchandise that meet a collection of market specifications and as a consequence the technology and what it allows for is vital to them. Their patrons are extra worried with the way it sounds, what is the fee, what is the excellent, and many others., and no longer a lot with how it’s carried out, hence the technology used is much much less significant to them.
Recently, I was involved in a discussion on Google+ about the new Motorola X telephone. Plenty of the people on these posts slammed the mobile for more than a few motives – cost, locked boot loader, and many others. There were also a lot of knocks on the truth that it did not have a quad-core processor like the S4 or HTC One that have been priced in a similar way. What they failed to grasp is that whether the brand used 1, 2, 4, or 8 cores sooner or later makes no change so long as the cell can provide a competitive (or even nice of class) feature set, performance, rate, and person expertise. The iPhone is among the most successful telephones ever produced, and but it runs on a dual-core processor. It nonetheless delivers some of the satisfactory consumer experiences on the market. The aspects that are enabled by way of the technological know-how are what are significant to the consumer, no longer the technology itself.
The relevance of technology hence, is as an enabler, not as a product function or a aggressive capabilities, or any myriad of different matters – an enabler. Watching on the Android operating process, it’s an excellent piece of software technological know-how, and yet Google offers it away. Why? Because standalone, it does nothing for Google. Giving it away permits different businesses to make use of their potential to construct merchandise and services which then act as enablers for Google’s merchandise and offerings. To Google, that is the place the true value is.