When I first started in the technology industry—more years ago than I’d like to think—it seemed that we spoke in our own specialized lexicon. Our conversations about “users,” “plug ins,” and “floppies” probably sounded like some sort of drug culture shorthand.
Fast forward to the present. Today, my morning paper—yes, I know, how quaint—is choked with advertisements for mega-this, multi-that, and iEverything. Consumers haven’t just embraced technology; they’ve taken it over. You can see the impact everywhere. Music and movies in the palm of your hand. Cars with more connections than a dating service. And social media sites for donating to presidential campaigns.
Those of us in the industry want to believe that technology is still in the driver’s seat; that technology leads and people follow. I don’t think so anymore. Technology may innovate but consumers are at the wheel. They decide who wins—even if it isn’t necessarily the superior technology. And, like it or not, the technology industry must follow that lead.