The popular science fiction show Star Trek depicted early versions of Skype, cell phones, solid state storage, super computers, and more. However, the ability to give voice commands, one of the most widely used pieces of technology on the show, has been slower to make it into the real world and realize its enormous potential.
Apple has come a long way from its humble beginnings, first revolutionizing consumer computer sales, then mobile music devices, mobile phones, and finally online content sales and syndication. Apple, now the largest technology company on earth, is looking for new ways to use its huge sales network, adoring fans, and ubiquitous ecosystem to revolutionize new service areas.
The creators and supporters of new technology enjoy predicting the demise of the old guard and, occasionally, these predictions are correct. Telegrams, printing presses, and coal powered vehicles have all been relegated to museums or remain in use only to lure sightseers and holiday goers. However, in most cases, new technologies don’t spell the end of established technologies.
Analysts have theorized as to why larger companies seem to have a much harder time extracting gains from new technologies than smaller companies do. At first glance, they should be much better at it: they have the money to hire experts and staff to run the systems, and they have the largest gains to be made from digitizing portions of their businesses.
Business is often compared to war, and in the tech industry the blitzkrieg is over, and the troops are digging in for the long haul. This shift holds some very important considerations for managers tasked with guiding their company technologically in the coming years.
Although they tend not to invite the comparison, business leaders and politicians have a great deal in common. Both jobs typically require people skills, education, shrewdness, and talent in some aspect of their chosen field. However, until recently, one aspect that remained unique to politicians was the ability to act.
Tech entrepreneurs can frequently be heard describing their technology as disruptive. Figuring out exactly what that overused buzzword actually means for established industries is a slightly harder task. In some industries, disruptive technologies open up new markets and add an extra element of competition (something most firms are very used to).