I recently read an article about the rapid pace of technological evolution and how it is changing our lives beyond what we ever thought possible. It proclaimed “any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed for failure in the 21st century.” Which got me thinking. What’s the future looking like for those light bulb moments we have now, and how do we keep up with technology as it moves at light speed?
How do we stay relevant in this ever changing and evolving technological landscape?
Technology is accelerating and transforming at such a rapid rate – we’ve seen massive changes in everyday interactions with a range of products and services, such as the very topical Apple iPhone 7 – which now has no headphone jack, and Facebook – which has such advanced facial recognition technology it surpasses that of a human. Jobs that exist now, may not be around in 20 years thanks to new advancements even down to apps that can diagnose a myriad of medical conditions by scanning your retina, analyzing your blood sample and your breath (due to be announced later this year). Talk of self-driving cars within the next five years will have huge implications; reduction in road fatalities and pollution, shifts in demand for petroleum and gasoline, the mechanics industry and transport services to name a few.
Space exploration is no longer going to be an exuberantly expensive and prolonged exercise with the introduction of 3D printers in space – reducing the cost and time to get tools and parts to the International Space Station (ISS) by printing what is needed on a 3D printer at the ISS. The world’s oceans are set for a major clean up with the introduction of floating barriers acting as artificial coast lines, using the flow of the ocean and technologies to direct floating rubbish to clean up our oceans. There’s even talk of veal grown in petri dishes and plastic wrap made out of milk.
All of these developments would have been unfathomable twenty or thirty years ago, but are now taking place at exponential growth. So what does this all mean for those in business? Will you be affected by these changes? Yes, most definitely. So how do you stay ahead of the curve, relevant and up to speed with all of this? And how do you forge a path of your own? Here are a few suggestions to help you remain relevant:
What’s new on social media?
Social Media is a great place to stay tuned to for the latest developments, and cross pollinate ideas to get inspiration for how you can apply technology to your business. The consumer market is highly competitive, and as consumers become increasingly demanding, products and services are pushed to meet their ever growing list of needs and desires. Advancements in customer services with the introduction of ChatBots - smart conversational robots designed to simulate conversation to assist people with a range of things – such as booking flights and holiday accommodation, ordering a pizza, or just to keep you company.
What’s happening within your industry, and ever more importantly, outside it?
You should no longer be restricted by your industry and what your competitors are doing. The boundaries that define your business model and industry are moving, merging with others, or disappearing all together. Keep an eye on your competitors, but also look across all industries –companies like Uber and Airbnb have totally disrupted their respective industries, turning traditional business models on their heads and revolutionising the way consumers operate and engage with businesses.
Don’t be confined by what you believe is possible. Think big about what value you can add to your offerings, to your existing consumer base, and your future customers. Outdoor apparel company Merrell brought the mountain hiking experience to their customers through Oculus Rift Virtual Reality technology, removing the physical barrier and placing customers in natural elements to experience their product. Promoting the launch of their latest hiking boot, participants laced on the Merrell boots, put on the headset and made their way through the ‘Dolomites in Italy’ – across rope bridges, along ridges and up to the summit of a mountain. Bringing an immersive experience right to a consumer, keeping their brand, and experience front of mind.
Browse Tech News Sites:
Websites such as Mashable, Feedly and TechCrunch are a great place to start familiarising yourself with technology news and developments. It’s vital that you stay up to date with technology, even if you’re not directly related to this industry. Knowing what is going on will help you stay motivated and inspired, and you never know, it might kick start a radical idea that changes the way you operate, sets you apart from competitors, and possibly even remodels business as you know it.
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