The CEO of design thinking consultancy ÄKTA, John Roa, has a theory that technology is outpacing our ability to consume it or put it to good use.
“Until now we have been limited by technology, always waiting for it to catch up and become faster, smaller, more powerful or portable,” Roa told the recent Salesforce world tour in Melbourne. ÄKTA was bought by Salesforce in September last year.
“Technology inventions, paradigm shifts and revolutions are happening at a rapidly increasing pace, so much so that in our lifetime we’ve already experienced a number of these already.
“We’re getting spoiled and we’re almost not noticing them happen anymore.”
Roa calls this “the technology complex”. He doesn’t see it as necessarily a bad thing, but he does see it as something to be aware of.
Central to this idea of a “technology complex” is the shrinking cadence of innovation.
He cites the example of telephone technology: when phones were corded, people could imagine a time when they would be cordless; when they became cordless, people could imagine them becoming portable; and so on.
But it took time for each of these step changes to occur. The technology had to catch up, and new infrastructure had to be deployed to usher in these technological evolutions.
“That’s how things have always worked,” Roa said. “It was always ideas that were limited by what we had available to us in the technology”.
However, he believes this situation has changed in recent times, and sees the advent of the self-driving car as a case in point.
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