The Most Important Gadget of 2016 is … You!

There is something of a race on a regular basis to describe/decry/declare this, that or the other new gadget/technology (and that should be about enough /s for now) as the next big thing. But here’s the (actual) thing: those gadgets are like pretty vases; great if you happen to be a florist or interior designer, but for most others, a cut off milk carton will be just as fine.

In my previous posts, I realise I have been putting in a pretty strong word for data-driven business and not basing choices on opinions, so let me expand a bit on this point.

The Internet of Things seems to be getting a lot of attention, and by all means, it should. It’s an exciting, fascinating and potentially game changing area of technology. But what you need to keep in mind is that everyone else is thinking the same thing. Technology quite simply won’t in and of itself change your company – even if it changes your business. The only way to gain success is to ensure that you introduce that technology with your own slant!

The first ATM was unique, then they became ubiquitous, and are now heading towards obsolescence. Most “new” technologies are already becoming ubiquitous, so it’s not whether you have them, it’s what you do with them.

And this is where your opinions and thoughts come in to play. Normally, when you are hired in a place with an expense account, you are advised to spend the company’s money as if it were your own – implying that you should be frugal and sensible. But oddly, this attitude is rarely expanded to responsibility in other areas, where you are “just” required to plod the company line. Sure, you might be encouraged to pitch in with ideas or input, but how often is it acted on?

The challenge faced by pretty much all companies now is that the speed of technological advances means that unless you are one of the very few companies at the very, very, very (and that’s probably about enough italics now too) cutting edge, then you are consigned to do the best with what’s out there. As it is, very few companies can make (or dare, or even understand), at an executive level, decisions fast enough to move with the times, so if you aren’t there, thinking and applying your take on how technology could make the products you’re working with better, then you shouldn’t really be there at all. If they’re not listening, you should be somewhere else.

And you should enjoy this, because one day AI might come and do all that for you. But hopefully I won’t be writing about that for many years yet.

In short, whether you work with cash, carpets or carry ons, you are the most important gadget for your company in 2016.

Are you up for it?

Oh, and since 2015 is drawing to a close, here are my opinions on two absolutely non-related things:
Album of the year: Blossom – by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
Thoughts on the new Star Wars: 4 out of 6