What Is the Relevance of Technologies?

“Technologies in the very long-run is irrelevant”. That is what a shopper of mine explained to me when I built a presentation to him about a new merchandise. I had been conversing about the product’s options and added benefits and outlined “point out-of-the-art technological know-how” or anything to that outcome, as 1 of them. That is when he built his statement. I realized later on that he was appropriate, at least in just the context of how I applied “Know-how” in my presentation. But I started thinking about no matter whether he could be suitable in other contexts as effectively.

What is Technologies?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


a: the simple application of understanding in particular in a individual location: engineering 2

b: a ability supplied by the practical software of expertise


: a method of carrying out a task particularly applying technical procedures, methods, or expertise


: the specialized aspects of a certain subject of endeavor

Wikipedia defines it as:

Technological know-how (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “artwork, talent, cunning of hand” and -λογία, -logia[1]) is the building, modification, usage, and know-how of instruments, devices, procedures, crafts, techniques, and techniques of business, in order to address a difficulty, make improvements to a preexisting remedy to a challenge, obtain a purpose, tackle an utilized enter/output relation or complete a distinct function. It can also refer to the selection of these instruments, which includes equipment, modifications, preparations and methods. Technologies substantially have an effect on human as perfectly as other animal species’ ability to regulate and adapt to their purely natural environments. The expression can possibly be applied normally or to unique parts: examples contain building technology, professional medical engineering, and data technological innovation.

Both definitions revolve about the similar matter – software and utilization.

Technologies is an enabler

Quite a few people mistakenly imagine it is technological know-how which drives innovation. But from the definitions higher than, that is evidently not the situation. It is prospect which defines innovation and know-how which permits innovation. Assume of the classic “Create a greater mousetrap” case in point taught in most business schools. You may have the technology to establish a greater mousetrap, but if you have no mice or the outdated mousetrap performs very well, there is no option and then the technologies to construct a superior one particular will become irrelevant. On the other hand, if you are overrun with mice then the possibility exists to innovate a product or service utilizing your engineering.

Another example, 1 with which I am intimately acquainted, are consumer electronics startup companies. I have been affiliated with each those that succeeded and individuals that failed. Every possessed special top edge technologies. The big difference was option. Those people that unsuccessful could not uncover the option to create a meaningful innovation employing their technological know-how. In actuality to survive, these firms experienced to morph quite often into anything completely unique and if they were lucky they could choose edge of derivatives of their primary technology. Additional usually than not, the original technological know-how wound up in the scrap heap. Technological know-how, hence, is an enabler whose greatest worth proposition is to make enhancements to our lives. In purchase to be applicable, it needs to be utilised to create improvements that are driven by option.

Technological know-how as a competitive gain?

Several corporations list a technologies as a person of their competitive advantages. Is this legitimate? In some instances sure, but In most circumstances no.

Know-how develops alongside two paths – an evolutionary path and a groundbreaking route.

A groundbreaking technological know-how is one which permits new industries or enables solutions to problems that ended up previously not doable. Semiconductor technologies is a good illustration. Not only did it spawn new industries and goods, but it spawned other innovative technologies – transistor technology, built-in circuit technologies, microprocessor technological know-how. All which provide several of the merchandise and providers we take in now. But is semiconductor technology a competitive benefit? Hunting at the selection of semiconductor providers that exist right now (with new kinds forming each individual working day), I’d say not. How about microprocessor technological know-how? Once more, no. Tons of microprocessor corporations out there. How about quad main microprocessor technologies? Not as several providers, but you have Intel, AMD, ARM, and a host of companies constructing custom quad main processors (Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, etcetera). So all over again, not much of a competitive edge. Opposition from competing systems and straightforward accessibility to IP mitigates the perceived competitive gain of any individual technological know-how. Android vs iOS is a fantastic instance of how this is effective. Equally operating units are derivatives of UNIX. Apple employed their engineering to introduce iOS and acquired an early marketplace advantage. Even so, Google, making use of their variant of Unix (a competing technological know-how), caught up somewhat quickly. The explanations for this lie not in the fundamental technological know-how, but in how the products and solutions designed feasible by individuals technologies were introduced to market place (totally free vs. walled yard, and so forth.) and the differences in the strategic visions of each and every enterprise.

Evolutionary technological know-how is a person which incrementally builds on the foundation groundbreaking technologies. But by it’s quite nature, the incremental transform is simpler for a competitor to match or leapfrog. Consider for instance wireless cellphone technologies. Company V launched 4G products prior to Corporation A and even though it may possibly have experienced a small expression benefit, as before long as Business A released their 4G products, the edge thanks to technological know-how disappeared. The client went again to deciding upon Company A or Enterprise V centered on price, assistance, coverage, whatsoever, but not centered on technological innovation. Thus engineering could have been relevant in the small time period, but in the extensive phrase, grew to become irrelevant.

In modern world, technologies have a tendency to quickly turn out to be commoditized, and inside any particular technological know-how lies the seeds of its have death.

Technology’s Relevance

This report was prepared from the future of an conclusion buyer. From a developer/designer standpoint points get murkier. The more a person is eliminated from the engineering, the significantly less pertinent it will become. To a developer, the technology can seem like a solution. An enabling products, but a merchandise however, and hence it is very applicable. Bose makes use of a proprietary sign processing technology to empower products and solutions that meet a established of sector needs and therefore the technological innovation and what it enables is applicable to them. Their clients are extra worried with how it sounds, what is the price, what is actually the top quality, and many others., and not so significantly with how it is reached, therefore the technological know-how employed is a great deal a lot less applicable to them.

Lately, I was associated in a discussion on Google+ about the new Motorola X cellular phone. A large amount of the people today on those people posts slammed the phone for a variety of good reasons – price, locked boot loader, and so forth. There ended up also lots of knocks on the simple fact that it failed to have a quad-main processor like the S4 or HTC One particular which were priced equally. What they unsuccessful to grasp is that no matter if the manufacturer applied 1, 2, 4, or 8 cores in the finish can make no difference as lengthy as the phone can produce a competitive (or even most effective of class) aspect set, functionality, price, and person experience. The Iphone is just one of the most profitable telephones ever created, and yet it operates on a dual-main processor. It nevertheless delivers 1 of the greatest person encounters on the marketplace. The features that are enabled by the know-how are what are related to the buyer, not the technological know-how itself.

The relevance of engineering thus, is as an enabler, not as a solution function or a aggressive benefit, or any myriad of other matters – an enabler. On the lookout at the Android working process, it is an remarkable piece of software program technological know-how, and still Google provides it absent. Why? Mainly because standalone, it does nothing for Google. Providing it absent enables other corporations to use their abilities to create products and solutions and expert services which then act as enablers for Google’s items and solutions. To Google, that’s exactly where the actual price is.

The possession of or access to a know-how is only vital for what it permits you to do – create improvements which address troubles. That is the true relevance of engineering.

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