martes, 1 de enero de 2013

The Technology that Screwed Businesses

When you think how technology had helped to
ruintransform businesses there are a few examples that came to my mind.
  • Typewriters vs. Personal Computers. The Personal computer and word processors software has really marked the end of typewriters.
  • Post Office vs. e-mail. The e-mail really transformed the communications and was the first Internet  "killer application".  The post office now it is important for sending packages and occasional postcards, the love letters are now sent by e-mail.
  • Travel agencies vs. Online tickets. Ok, the Internet really screwed changed this business here in Ecuador. There used to be travel agencies next to travel agencies here, but now they are all gone.  All the people now buy their plane tickets directly over the Internet and cutting the middle man (travel agency).
  • Photo film developing vs. Digital Photo. Kodak business went under the bridge when competing with digital photography. Some businessman just thought that people really want to print their pictures every time…..oops.
  • Record Industries vs. Electronic Delivery Music. I talked to a friend in 1997 and told me that the MP3 format will not succeed. Well, you were wrong my Apple fanboi friend.  He told me that the songs were too big and the sound compression quality was not good enough. Later he bought an iPod and told everyone this was the great invention ever.  So, the Music record industry got screwed transformed.
  • Book Publishers  vs. Electronic Delivery Books. Now, the gap between the book author and the customer got reduced with the launch of tablets and services to sell you electronic books. This industry didn’t save from the transformation.
…there are many more examples that came to mind. I only wanted to list the massive consumer services I can think about.

What’s happening today? Whats Next?

  • Phone calls vs Internet VOIP. This is something that I don’t know why is taking so long. The “charge by minute phone call” should be extinct by these days. No international/regional/local phone call charges should apply anymore. But there must be an international conspiracy to maintain this “status quo”.  Sure there are alternatives, but there is a lack of a standard to replace the “Phone number digits” standard of the traditional phone companies.
  • Personal Computer vs. SmartPhone. Yes PC, it is your time, you should pay what you did to typewriters. Now consumers will like to have a better phone to surf the internet and send emails instead of a big PC. That’s why every major PC vendor now offers phones (or tried to), they don’t want to get cut out of the way.  I don’t think that the PC is going to die since it is a better tool for people that create content (software, design, books, etc), but the behavior of consumer has changed because of the smartphones.
  • TV vs. Internet TV. Yes, TV is going to get screwed changed by the internet soon. TV just got the initial transformation with services like Netflix. But which business is going to get screwed transformed this time?  TV networks? TV Studios? ….uhm… looks interesting. Is this why we have the Fox’s Rupert Murdoch complains about Google?
  • IT Solutions Providers vs. The Cloud. Yes, we are getting screwed transformed with the Cloud. Now IT big vendors are offering the services directly to the customer cutting the middle man (us).  No more hardware installation, software installation, software support for us. Is this the dead of the “Business Partners”?…. Well, more like the “Transformation” of the Business Partner.
Did the business are getting really screwed?

No, I used the “screw” term just for fun. This transformation is the evolution of business.  There are businesses that want to stick to the past and don’t want to be moved from their comfort zone (just check SOPA supporters companies list).  The digital evolution/transformation of business is an unstoppable thing, and will help the consumers at the end.

Do you run a nice Business? Get ready to be transformed. (or screwed, whatever)