Chanced upon an old issue of Time which had an interview with author Salman Rushdie and he says “You tell a crowd of stories. You literally overcrowd your narrative, so that your main story has to push its way through”
I am working through my mountain of research and interviews over the last few months as I write the first draft of my next book. As I tweeted last week “next book case studies are Jetsons compared to Flintstones in The New Polymath - and those were pretty amazing!‘ But 4 main stories are pushing through:
a) The “industrialization’ of consumer tech
Just below the form/factor and feature/function of Apple, Google, HP, amazon, Facebook, eBay, Zynga, Groupon and other consumer tech is an amazing amount of design, logistics, data center, global, ecosystem and other wizardry.
b) The “smartening” of just about every industry
When I started the book research I thought 8-10 industries like medical devices and autos were embedding plenty of technology in their next-gen products. Now I cannot find any industry which is not working on a smart product or service – airlines, banks, cities…
c) The small role of IT and enterprise tech vendors
In both a and b above I am not hearing much of a role for the big software,outsourcing, telco vendors we all know and love. Much of the efficiencies I am seeing in a) should also be happening at enterprise vendors with the scale they have. Much of the innovation in b) is being done by R&D groups, not IT in those companies.
d) The rise of the Phoenix
Apple is Exhibit 1 but I am seeing plenty of rebirths. GM’s OnStar was developed as a feature to sell its cars. It lost its allure in a world of Garmins and Google Maps. It is coming back as an unbundled rear view mirror which even a Toyota or Ford owner can have installed.
Think only the Swiss and the Japanese can make precision watches? Dennis Howlett pointed out to me London based Hoptroff which is a “silicon foundry which designs and patents electronic watch movements for ‘future classic’ timepieces” It continues the tradition of other watch industry innovations from that city including the 1664 invention of the balance spring and the 1753 innovation related to temperature compensation.
There are plenty more examples in the book – but I am optimistic IT and enterprise vendors will perform their own Phoenix like renewal. In time for my next book after this one.