Thursday, August 26, 2010

All Companies Are Tech

My wife's 70 year old aunt, who is a Catholic Nun and lives in Rome, visited us last week. After getting settled in the guest room the first thing she asked was if we had high-speed wireless. She pulled out her laptop and logged into the server of her religious order in Italy. From our kitchen table she was able to work remotely.

I had the pleasure to be the keynote speaker at a conference for 400 people in the IT Department of a Fortune 500 Company this week. This was not a "tech" company (think food service), but it was amazing to see their dedication to technology and innovation. They are deeply committed to finding ways to make the customer experience better and more efficient. Additionally, the organization has harnessed technology to improve the human interactions of their employees and boost their corporate culture. They accomplish this by developing proprietary technology tools and honoring the power of their electronic world.

I am just old enough to remember the days before technology was pervasive. I recall manual cash registers in some stores when I was a kid (Think of the sound "Cha-Ching"). My first memories of television is 5 stations on a black and white set with "rabbit ears". I lived in the times when mobile phones required the company of a briefcase. And yes, I typed on an Apple LISA and a Commodore 64 (we did not own a computer, but some of my friends with progressive parents had these early models).

I point this out because I believe people around the world are taking technology for granted. The tools we use today have only been around in many ways for about 15-20 years. A lot has changed in that short amount of time. What seemed so magical two decades ago is common place today. The Science fiction of the 1970s and 1980s is standard issue in 2010.

Living in Austin, Texas I have seen a lot of changes in the "tech industry". Now I think we are all in the "tech" business... no matter what we do for a living. All companies are "tech" and that is a good thing.

I see this in my own world as a speaker, author and publisher. New Year Publishing recently launched a new division, NYP Digital Media. The purpose of this group is to help authors (NYP published, self-published, and otherwise) to migrate their products to the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Android, Blackberry, audio CD's,video products, iTunes Store, iBookstore, Nook, and beyond. Writing a book is no longer just about the book, it is about the technology of digital publishing and print!

Take a few minutes to look at all the ways technology impacts your life. If you are even reading this blog post you are right in the middle of it, and I bet you take it for granted, too!

Looking at the changes over the last couple of decades I am excited to see what the next 20 years has in store (I am sure many more things that require a monthly service fee.... grrrrrrr).

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Lorin Rivers said...

Interesting story about the auntie, that’s classic.

Our generation bridges the analog/digital gap. I don’t know if my kids have ever been in a house that didn’t have a computer in it.

Your mention of the cash register sound reminds me of the ubiquity of the needle scratch sound that means “interruption”. It’s universally understood to mean that, but how many kids who know that meaning have ever actually heard that sound in real life?

Rock on.