I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with technology. When designed correctly, it can be extraordinarily valuable. Technology can simplify our lives and create efficiency and scale to business. On the flip side, it can be a daunting challenge to stay up to speed with its rapid pace of innovation. Unfortunately, this is the reality that seems to accelerate every year.
I see this every day as an entrepreneur. In fact, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) software that we are currently using was in vogue exactly a year ago. Now, this technology is considered passe and it has three new competitors that do it better and cheaper. Can anyone say, Blackberry? Yes, they too suffered a similar demise as they rested on their laurels. While I'm sure our nostalgic side misses that first generation Blackberry, aren't you happy you moved on?
So, how to do keep up with the ever changing technology landscape? I wish I had an easy answer. For Beatha Group, we tend to lean on our values: Simplicity and Scalability.
Simplicity: It amazes me how often technology providers miss the boat with major product releases. Given the amount of R&D being pumped into these platforms, one would expect such intentions would address an underlying need. Not quite! Alternatively, I love when a company gets it right. In this case, Google recently succeeded with Google Home. This is Google’s Smart Speaker and Home Assistant that competes directly with the Amazon Echo. The small, but sleek design is nothing short of elegant. More importantly, the voice recognition interface can be incredibly powerful as you can literally hand off requests in passing. Ok, Google… add milk to my shopping list. Ok, Google… I need an Uber to the grocery store. While the initial functionality is great, I’m really interested in seeing what will be next. Ok, Google… use my Starwood points to book a 2 night getaway to New York!
Scalability: I find that some of our clients still fall into this “old world” trap. They have a system for email, a video conference solution, and something separate for file sharing… you get the picture. We are always looking for those solutions that offer “the biggest bang for your buck” in a business that will likely stick around for a while, e.g. Google, Apple. We at Beatha Group call this “system leverage”, or the instance when an organization can maximize the full potential of a solution to solve multiple business problems. The best example of system leverage is the original iPhone. It quickly became a swiss army knife of sorts. It is your phone, camera, music player, GPS, eBook, calculator, flashlight and so on. It’s crazy to think that just 10 years ago we carried around multiple physical devices and tools. While it may be hard to imagine the day without our trusty phones, I do think the day will come when other alternatives are present. It isn’t too far fetched to think about the potential convergence between technologies like the Apple Watch and the Google Glass. Will the smartphone eventually become obsolete?
Let us know how you stay in the technology loop. What do you read? Who do you listen to? We are always interested in learning from the Beatha community.
This is our last blog for 2016. Here’s to a great new year! If 2017 is anything like this year, we can expect to see even more incredible innovation. Brace yourself. It should be fun!