“Technology in the long-run is irrelevant”. That is what a customer of mine told me once i made a presentation to him about a new product. I used to be talking about the product’s features and benefits and listed “state-of-the-art technology” or something to that result, as one of them. That is when this individual made his statement. I actually realized later that this individual was correct, at least within the context displaying how I used “Technology” during my presentation. But We commenced thinking about whether he could be right in other contexts as well. ios 11 public beta

What is Technology?

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


a: the sensible application of knowledge particularly in a particular area: design 2 <medical technology>

w: a capability given by the program of knowledge <a car’s fuel-saving technology>


: a manner of accomplishing a job especially using complex processes, methods, or knowledge


: the specialized aspects of a certain field of endeavor <educational technology>

Wikipedia defines it as:

Technology (from Greek?? -???, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”; and -??????, -logia[1]) is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, as a way to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, acquire a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or execute a specific function. It can also make reference to the collection of such tools, including machinery, alterations, arrangements and procedures. Solutions significantly affect human as well as other creature species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: for example construction technology, medical technology, and information technology.

Both definitions designed to sculpt around the same thing – application and consumption.

Technology is an enabler

Many people mistakenly consider it is technology which drives innovation. Yet from the definitions above, that is evidently not the case. It can be opportunity which defines innovation and technology which permits innovation. Believe of the classic “Build an improved mousetrap” example educated in most business colleges. You could have the technology to build an improved mousetrap, but if you do not the death or the old mousetrap works well, there is no opportunity and then the technology to build an improved one becomes unimportant. Alternatively, if you are full of mice then the ability exists to improve a product making use of your technology.

Another example, one with which I am thoroughly familiar, are consumer electronic products startup companies. I’ve recently been associated with those that succeeded and those that failed. Each possessed unique leading edge technologies. The difference was opportunity. Individuals that failed wasn’t able to find the possibility to create a significant innovation using their technology. In fact to make it through, these companies were required to change oftentimes into something totally different and if they were lucky they could take good thing about derivatives of their original technology. Generally, the original technology twisted up in the refuse heap. Technology, thus, is an enabler whose ultimate value proposition is to make improvements to living. In order to be relevant, it needs to be used to create innovations that are motivated by opportunity.