The End of the Technology Revolution?



I was talking with someone the other day about the end of the Technology Revolution and the beginning of the Entrepreneurial Revolution.

I took a bit of flak for saying the Technology Revolution was dead or dying. I was quickly informed that the Technology Revolution is the backbone of America’s economy today—and always will be.

To make matters worse, I wrote a post way back in mid-2011 about “Digital Fatigue,” where I inferred that more technological advances were made before the advent of the digital age, then has been made since then.

Then, I thought maybe I was missing something… until I recently read an article by Christopher Mims, Science and Technology correspondent for Quartz.

In his article, Mims stated, “… 2013 was an embarrassment for the entire tech industry… Not a single breakthrough product was unveiled… Innovation was replaced by financial engineering, mergers and acquisitions, and evasion of regulations.”

Following are some topic highlights from Mim’s article:

  • Mobile phones stagnated by becoming commodities and the only good thing to come from that is that they will get evermore less expensive.
  • Big tech companies continued their decline. Microsoft lost nearly a billion dollars on its new tablet, and a ruinous internal culture was revealed.
  • Intel has done little investing and their microprocessors are less profitable than ever.
  • Blackberry… well, everyone knows about Blackberry.
  • Hewlett-Packard has settled down to gracefully manage its own decline.
  • Technology’s ruling class has increased its arrogance.
  • Mergers and acquisitions replaced innovation.
  • Wearables fizzled out without making any sort of compelling case with consumers. (Well, Google Glass did manage to get banned from Casinos and now they can prepare for a tsunami of lawsuits for “invasion of privacy”.)
  • We became even more tired of social media than ever with the advent of obnoxious video ads.
  • The media managed to inflate the PR efforts of several companies that really had nothing new to offer.
  • Edward Snowden managed to put a chill on future technological shifts, and the real fallout for the tech industry has yet to unfold.

These are just some of the highlights of Christopher Mims article, and you can read his entire article here.

Of course, just like there has been constant changes and improvements in manufacturing since the end of the Industrial Revolution, so will there continue to be changes and improvements in the tech world.

But, when you stop to think about it, has there been any “real” revolution in the tech industry over the last few years? Or, have the tech folks just been massaging existing concepts and products?

So, I wonder… is this really the end of the Technology Revolution—or have we just seen a bit of a lull in the rate of new tech innovations? What do you think?


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