Applying the Technology Better


Reading, learning, connecting, even sharing and keeping up with (your definition of) friends in social networks are all means to an end. Not the end itself.

The goal for business is of a different nature: It is the value of your promise and the wisdom of the trade that earn your place in the market.

A couple of days ago, Bill Gross, founder of technology incubator Idelab, noting that tech stocks were hit very hard on the trading floor in the last week, asked on G+ whether it was deserved or not.

Maybe ironically, some of these tech companies are the very innovators that will invent new things in tough times, and will grow more than the average of the market.

Which of the following do you think is happening:

1. Investors are running from these stocks blindly
2. Investors think these companies will not do well in the future
3. Investors think these companies were overvalued and were due a correction
4. People run from tech in scary times
5. Something else

There's a better question, I think. And that is which things are not working. The focus is often so much on what is happening and trying to find an answer using as reference what used to work, that we miss what we need to stop doing.

Right now, everyone is looking for answers to the crisis, for ways to go back to the way things were, for the universal pacifier that will send people into their homes watching TV again, and to the malls buying.

It's not Main Street and Wall Street anymore. And it shouldn't be. Money and investment should not be divorced from the sweat equity of entrepreneurs and businesses.

Wall Street is no longer what it was designed to be, says Mark Cuban:  

Wall Street was designed to be a market to which companies provide securities (stocks/bonds), from which they received capital that would help them start/grow/sell businesses.

[…] Its primary business is no longer creating capital for business. Creating capital for business has to be less than 1pct of the volume on Wall Street in any given period.

It's not the technology that failed us. Its application did. We need to have the smartest people working on the most needed problems to solve, and those are problems that go to the roots; all the way to our infrastructure.

There's then an opportunity to apply technology directly to the problem of building a new infrastructure for the places we live in, work, and learn.

In the same way roads are crumbling under the weight of increased traffic volume, our own thinking is decaying under the influence of massive speculations. We need to apply the technology better: To solving real business problems.


[hat tip Taylor Davidson]

[image courtesy of assbach]

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0 responses to “Applying the Technology Better”

  1. I agree, Valeria. Not the technology. I wonder if investors are running because the tech sector – unlike the banking, insurance, and assembly line automotive industry – was not deemed “too big to fail” at the turn of the century and, despite being the driving force behind the global economy, would not get a bailout.
    It’s the short-sighted pursuit of symptoms, leaving the root causes of all these problems to fester. Eventually, these problems get Gangrenous and have to be amputated.
    I mean, really. All this talk about creating jobs. Why? If we’re shorting the education system, which is already turning out graduates who can’t read or write, what makes anyone think we’re going to get decent, meaningful jobs out of that?
    If someone in China could do the job for less money or a computer could do it faster, it’s NOT a job we need. Yet I suspect our representatives will engage in more counter-productive protectionism to get just that. In the end, this focus on symptoms instead of causes leads to a choice between owning a McDonald’s or working there.
    We need to be looking to the future, determining what it should look like for people, places, and planet, and then work our way backward to where we are, determining the milestones along the way.
    And nobody is going to do it for us.

  2. I was waiting to respond to this thoughtful comment of yours because, if we’re voted in and accepted, we plan to have a meaty discussion of the topic of disruptive technology at SxSW interactive next year. It’s been long a dream of mine to bring together the two worlds of business and technology, and for the sake of the viability of commerce, we need to.
    The topic of my dual, introducing a very special person, will be Disruptive Tech: When it Builds Strong Business. If you’d like, you can vote here

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