Practicality in today's fast-paced tech landscape

technology Mar 11, 2024
 Practicality in today's fast-paced tech landscape

Maintaining an innovative mindset in the tech sector is a topic I'm often questioned about. Specifically, people are curious about how to stay updated with the ever-evolving landscape and discern what innovations hold value for various applications.


The key, I've found, isn't in attempting to grasp every nuance of every new technology that emerges. Just as one doesn't need to know the inner workings of a combustion engine to drive a car, complete technical mastery isn't necessary to leverage technology effectively. There was a time when embarking on a road trip required substantial mechanical knowledge. Those days, however, are long gone. Today, we can seamlessly integrate numerous technological solutions into our lives without fully understanding every component.

Some may argue that this detachment makes technology seem almost like magic. Yet, it enables a shift in perspective towards the practical benefits technology offers. Ultimately, the purpose of technology should not be technology itself but the value it delivers within specific contexts.

Identifying the potential user value of new technology early on is crucial. While envisioning potential applications and crafting storyboards are useful strategies, I've found that hands-on experimentation often yields the most insightful discoveries. Although this approach may not be suitable for experimenting with advanced technologies like next-generation nuclear fusion reactors, it applies well to a vast array of other innovations.


I allocate a yearly budget specifically for exploring emerging technologies, aka gadgets. This isn't for the purpose of reverse engineering but to assess their practical applications, how they alter my interaction with my environment, and what gaps exist that, if filled, could enhance their value.

When testing technologies still in the "innovators" phase of the Rogers Adoption Curve I always accept that there is a serious risk that the gadget won’t last. Limitations such as inadequate battery life, poor integration capabilities, or insufficient display sizes become apparent. However, through this experimentation process, I gain valuable insights into the actual state of technology versus its advertised capabilities and understand user needs more accurately than what engineers might predict on paper.

Many technologies I've tested have been dismissed to the annals of history, while others have found a more enduring place in my daily routine, proving their value in my specific context. Some of the technologies I've explored include:

  • Home automation solutions
  • Sony's inaugural smartwatch
  • Roomba vacuum cleaners
  • Local indexing and search engine software
  • Oura Ring
  • Various smart lighting solutions
  • Smart speakers
  • Tablets and smartphones (and their features)
  • Remarkable tablet

My list of tested technologies continues to expand. Which of these trials, and the insights gained from them, would you like me to delve into further?


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