World 2.0

Robert made a good point, “Why don’t we drop this 2.0 business?”
We can’t, because there is something there, something that is fundamentally changing our world. Something that enormous is REALLY hard to understand, but we can see the effects of it every day.
Clayton Christensen has some early definition with his disruptive innovation. You routinely double and triple (or more) your users by offering what they want.
People who don’t understand technology say, “The key must be technology!” This gives me a new understanding of why so many IT projects fail. If the leader doesn’t understand both the business necessity and the technology, they keep trying to join the two together and missing. Think about what happens if you understand just one or the other.
People who don’t understand the change role of pricing say, “We can’t lower our prices!”
People who don’t understand innovation say, “Let Steve Jobs do it!”
Perhaps the key is understanding what your users will want, what technology will be disruptive, how to make your pricing radically more attractive, and offer something that works much better.
And, as Mr. Loaf says, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”
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Profile Photo Chris Poirier

This topic has been coming up a lot lately. I wrote about it a few weeks back: Social Tools Do Not a Process Make. A lot of people are overly focused on technology as a solution rather than a tool that can be used to re-enforce good policy, procedures, etc. (Read=Process) Fellow GovLoop Steve Radick has mentioned this a few times in his blogs as of late as well.

One can argue that “2.0 technology” is so “large” or “innovative” that it’s a game changer, but this is a standard technology argument that is as old as the world it’s self. One must recall the definition of technology to understand my point: (According to Merriam-Webster) Technology=”a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge.” By this definition technology isn’t a “thing” it’s a how and this is important to understand in discussion. Changing how we do something requires good process, methods, and/or knowledge. Lacking any of these things technology typically serves to only make things more complicated instead of easier. (As stated, how many projects can one point to that has suffered this reality?) Thus, we suffer from the reality that technology can be a double edged sword if not applied correctly to resolve a problem and in fact can end up causing more problems than it was implemented to resolve. (If this is the case, then by technical definition you have already failed.) This is the root problem in technology innovation: We can be motivated to change process due to some shiny new object that promises world peace, when all we really needed was a tool/technology that makes our processes better.

So, I leave you with this: 1.) Innovation for the sake of innovation is typically doomed to fail as it doesn’t have a problem to solve. 2.) If lacking solid process, methodology, and/or knowledge technology will typically lead to frustration rather than solutions. and 3.) Tools/Technology: no matter how shiny and awesome they are, should never be the independent solution, they are only a means to accomplishing the mission/goal.

Technology does make our lives easier, but only appropriately applied technology to existing (and solid) processes change the world we live in for the better.

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