30 things that (I think) are true about new technologies

Or how you can find and opportunity

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Finding an opportunity it is a matter of observation. The more you know about the area you want to innovate the easier it is to find an opportunity.

An exercise that helps to find opportunities is listing things that you consider true about X.

Here is an example of a list stating what is true about new technologies.

  1. They take a long time to become mainstream
  2. They tend to be highly priced at the beginning
  3. New jobs and profession are born as a byproduct of their existence
  4. At the beginning they are not understood by the society
  5. Early adopters invest on them and normally pile a lot of money
  6. Through their development they tend to be forgotten for a while normally due lack of practicality or application
  7. They bring change to social behaviours and dynamics
  8. They help solve problems
  9. The rich tend to get access earlier than the poor
  10. Is difficult to predict their long term effect in society
  11. They are patented
  12. The first company to launch and commercialise the technology successfully has the advantage over the rest
  13. The patents of the technology allow for royalties on that technology paid by competitors
  14. Lots of research and testing is necessary to create them
  15. They bring new problems to solve
  16. In hardware form are heavier on the earlier versions
  17. In hardware form are bigger on the earlier versions
  18. In hardware form, are slower on the earlier versions
  19. Are simpler at the beginning
  20. They need demonstrations and explanations to be understood by the public
  21. They need funding of some sort
  22. They may pose a thread for certain jobs, processes,industries, societal norms, related to the problem they are solving
  23. At some point they become obsolete
  24. They are going from being out of the human body to becoming embedded in the body
  25. The business models created around them tend to be the most profitable
  26. They need to be regulated when launched in the world
  27. At the beginning the technology is operated by specialists
  28. Part of the society opposes to the proliferation of that technology
  29. The inception comes from curiosity or need
  30. The new tech specialists need training to operate it

Some of the entries on the list might be hypothesis, some others just anecdotes or attempts to sound smart. The important thing is to be aware of those things and rewrite the list with help of more people that can sense check those “truths”. Or better yet, with some good old research.

So now, how do you find opportunities?

Ask yourself, how can I make this statement not true?

Let’s try it with an entry from the list:

  • True: At the beginning the technology is operated by specialists.
  • Not true 1: At the beginning the technology is operated by amateurs.
  • Not true 2: At the end the technology is operated by specialists.

The not true 1 statement brings you to a reality where all amateur people can operate and explain how to use a new technology. But our reality in most cases is different. For example, no amateur person is able to create an AI model without any knowledge. The opportunity comes when you challenge that reality and wonder, What if amateur people could? And then you brainstorm about it.

I hope this was useful. Thank you.

Explorimentalist is the curious creative ego of Ngatye Brian Oko that explores technology from the human side. Find more at www.makara.xyz

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