Speculation On Two Technical Trends

Lately I’ve seen two trends in technology that I’d like to speculate on. By speculate, I mean “rant on them and their career implications” and see what you have to say.

The two trends?

  • Empowerment.
  • Re-invention of past behaviors/social patterns/activities.

I used to buy cookbooks fanatically, and now I’d say half to two-thirds of my recipies come from online (the rest is magazines and books). Really it’s not surprising – online resources take us back to the day of neighbors swapping recipies, turned up to eleven.  The last time I got a book it was just for a cheap collection of sauces.

Socially, Facebook and Twitter and Meetup have, in enhanced socialization. We’re using technology to create tight socialization that we may have had in a less mobile age.

3D printers take us back to handcrafting, only now it’s home manufacturing. People who shouldn’t even be near power tools can now craft items safely, except for all that “hot plastic” part.

POD and e-publishing lets us make our own books easily. Of course I could note the Chinese Literati often self-published (and copied) their own works centuries ago.  Back then giving people your original works was a gift.

We are more empowered to do things like we used to in ways we never imagined – faster,better, and with more opportuinities. I don’t see that trend ending without large-scale economic disaster.

Of course this leads me to career thoughts, since that’s what we’re here for:

  • First empowerment is the word. Giving people the power to do things (or do things “the old way” in a new way) is a big trend. Businesses need to do that.  You need to do that.
  • Not everyone wants to do the empowerment thing, and conflicts were and are brewing over that. The SOPA/PIPA mess was a grand example of that.  Keep in that in mind when dealing with this legal foofaraw.
  • For many people, this new technology/old ways is an area they’re unfamiliar with. There’s plenty of opportunities for training them.
  • Social changes may occur due to these things, and we should look to relatable past cultural phenomena to understand them.  Of course understanding them is also good to market and promote them.
  • These strange, accelerating, empowering phenomena could create noteable social gaps.

I’ll probably go on more about this later, but let’s keep an eye out and see what happens . . . and how we can make a career of it.

Steven Savage