The Technology Timeshift and Careers

We all know technology has changed how the world works, careers, go, and so on and so forth.  However I think one thing technology has done to careers – especially fannish and geeky ones – is that it's created an odd timeshifting effect.

Technology has the obvious effect of making a lot of things faster and easier to do and distribute to people.  The upside of course is obvious – the downside is that EVERYONE is able to do and distribute more things faster.  Everything is faster but the competition is the same – if not moreso.

You can get out books, games, etc. a lot faster than you could before.  You're also up against a lot more people than necessary.  Let's be honest, some upstart companies, publishers, etc. mainly have an edge because their older competitors are caught flat-footed by technical change.

However, the advantages that technology gives us also makes one thing far more valuable – long-term presence.  As we're aware the internet also lets one build a long-term presence, keep content up in simple and cheap forms, etc.

Yes, everyone can get online and deliver games, books, whatever faster.  But it doesn't mean they're good, and it doesn't mean they're going to last.  With the faster competition, and the fact that the speed-to-market doesn't mean what gets to the market is high quality, the ability to just outright endure becomes more valuable.

Can you keep up that DLC game series as a two-man operation?  Can you keep up that self-published book?  Can you keep up your part-time online business?

I think those planning for careers, from their own businesses to working for others, need to think about the long-term advantages of technology.  A blog may not seem like that great a thing for your career even when you enjoy it – but when you have 3 years worth of posts showing just what you can do, it says something about you.     Can you keep up your company's subsite for the game you worked on and keep providing content?

The internet makes a lot of things fast.  But I think it has made long-term planning and presence important as well.  Keep that in mind career-wise.

– Steven Savage