30 things that (I think) are true about new technologies
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.
- They take a long time to become mainstream
- They tend to be highly priced at the beginning
- New jobs and profession are born as a byproduct of their existence
- At the beginning they are not understood by the society
- Early adopters invest on them and normally pile a lot of money
- Through their development they tend to be forgotten for a while normally due lack of practicality or application
- They bring change to social behaviours and dynamics
- They help solve problems
- The rich tend to get access earlier than the poor
- Is difficult to predict their long term effect in society
- They are patented
- The first company to launch and commercialise the technology successfully has the advantage over the rest
- The patents of the technology allow for royalties on that technology paid by competitors
- Lots of research and testing is necessary to create them
- They bring new problems to solve
- In hardware form are heavier on the earlier versions
- In hardware form are bigger on the earlier versions
- In hardware form, are slower on the earlier versions
- Are simpler at the beginning
- They need demonstrations and explanations to be understood by the public
- They need funding of some sort
- They may pose a thread for certain jobs, processes,industries, societal norms, related to the problem they are solving
- At some point they become obsolete
- They are going from being out of the human body to becoming embedded in the body
- The business models created around them tend to be the most profitable
- They need to be regulated when launched in the world
- At the beginning the technology is operated by specialists
- Part of the society opposes to the proliferation of that technology
- The inception comes from curiosity or need
- 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.