I routinely ask my clients to learn about these three types of technologies for their own good.
Innovative companies need to leverage new ideas to generate future revenues. Learning how to mix internal and external innovation to your advantage is a profitable skill. So, how does your company seek out innovations and learn to leverage them into a stream of money?
Do you remember the invention of the telegraph, the telephone or the fax machine? Thank goodness I don’t remember the invention of the first two, but I do remember when fax machines showed up at restaurants to take orders.
These three technologies are well entrenched in society today but there was a time when they were much more novel. This is also true of the many technologies that we learn about for the first time as the pace of technology development accelerates every year. So, which of these new technologies will become ubiquitous in our daily lives a few years from now?
Three terms can help you sort out new ideas and their potential to affect your business.
On the far left of the technology life cycle curve (discussed in my previous post Has the Technology Life Cycle thrown you a curve?): an invention or discovery that is fairly new, not well communicated and perhaps not well understood either. A recent example is the development of the carbon-based material known as carbon nanotubes that helped kick off the current nanotechnology revolution.
Those technologies are likely to unsettle existing markets. In the case of carbon nanotubes, they were disruptive on multiple levels and will likely continue to be for some time because of their many benefits in transistors, batteries and other electrical and non-electrical applications. So, one technology has significantly disrupted many that were well established.
Make perfect sense in one area but aren’t as obvious in others. For example, what if no one thought of the light bulb as anything beyond being a reading light? This would have been severely limiting by today’s standards as we now know that we need light sources for equipment status indicators such as LEDs and also for backlighting for our computer and HDTV screens. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine life without these previously adjacent technologies.
In summary, knowing how to classify both the technologies that you’re producing today and those that could be helpful to you in the future will help you position your strategy and resources to your maximum benefit.
Photo credit: WGN Television (Wikipedia)