Thursday, April 30, 2015

Never Underestimate the Imagination of Technology Inventors

While I’ve never been afraid of technology (after all, I do work with lots of technology entrepreneurs), I’ve also never been someone who needs the latest gadget the moment it comes out. It may seem old fashioned, but I still read books made out of actual paper.

When two of my contacts (you know who you are) told me they stayed up until 2:00 a.m. so that they could order an Apple Watch as soon as it publicly launched, I was both a little incredulous and struck by the creative power of technology inventors to convince us all that we need the latest greatest gizmo. It seems like the stream of technology advances just keep coming. I know a certain entreVIEW author and colleague who isn't always that thrilled with new technology, but she isn’t going to stop new technology from coming into (or is it invading?) our lives.

Everyone seems obsessed with the "Internet of Things"  (or IoT if you’re really hip)—essentially, the ability to assign an IP address to any natural or man-made object. It seems like just about every time I turn around I hear about new capabilities of my mobile device (and it isn’t just about racially diverse emoji). It could be the ability to control your home with your iPhone or maybe even a smart toilet.  

People often tell me that they think I’m pretty creative (at least “for a lawyer,” admittedly a low standard). But sometimes I feel like I’ve had a right-brain lobotomy compared to technology inventors.  Of course, just because you can invent it doesn’t mean you have a business, right? Is there really a large market for a Bluetooth-enabled "personal massager"?  Doesn’t everyone need a toaster that can toast your selfie on bread?

Just to put some perspective on my skepticism about the need for every household item to be connected to the Internet, I do recall the first time I got a new “cell phone” (that’s what we called these things before they became mobile devices, remember?) that could take photos—admittedly grainy ones. The observation of one of my partners when I showed it to him was that the only thing he was more certain of than that I didn’t need my phone to take photos is that, somehow, within a year I’d wonder how I ever lived without the capability. More than a decade later, does anybody ever get a phone that doesn’t take photos (with effects, panaroma, full HD video, etc.)?

While I may not be staying up all night to get the next great technology “thing,” I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I realize just how many of the “things” in my life somehow need to become part of the IofT. 

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