Sunday, August 15, 2010

Technology Changes, But People Remain The Same

My dad was born in 1914. This fall he will turn 96-years-old.

So much has happened in the world in only one lifetime. For most of us, we see the world from our own current situation. We respond to what we witness and create judgments. Humans like to put things into buckets and safely store them away. We often ignore the power of change that is constant.

But when we do that, we miss out on the power of perspective. The situations are constantly changing, and therefore we are about to experience new new things.

The future is coming. Embrace what we have not yet known, and do not forget that the products, services and events around us today will seem different when we look back through 90-year-old (plus) eyes.

The year Dad was born:

The first scheduled airline flight was flown (I wonder if it was late and they lost the luggage?)

Henry Ford introduces assembly line, for T-Fords

Stock brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch was founded

World War I began when Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

The largest one-day percentage drop in the history of Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 24.39%.

Looking back nearly 100 years is interesting... but my dad was my age (44) in 1958. That year:

Sputnik 1 reenters atmosphere & burns up

The Lego company patented their design of Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today. (see, not everything changes!)

1st US satellite (Explorer I) launched

Ted Williams is fined $250 for spitting at Boston fans again (Sounds minor compared to the antics of today's professional athletes)

Inauguration of NASA

PanAm flies 1st transatlantic jet trip-NY to Paris

It is interesting to look at the events the year my dad was born, and the year he turned 44.... but it is important to look at the power of innovation that took place over his lifetime. He has seen amazing things. At the mid-point of his life he must have thought they had gone as far as they could go with technology.

If you think that you are seeing amazing things in 2010... I would like to remind you that "you ain't seen nothing yet!".

But is the world different?

My dad pointed out that while technology changes, people are always the same inside. He has read The Bible (several times), and he points out that the stories of human conflict between nations and individuals translate to modern times. The impulses, feelings, greed, compassion, mis-communications, lust (for sex and power), scandals, and all the other lessons that populate the good book are present in the stories that fill today's media.

My father said that "we have not changed the heart of Man just because the tools we use daily have changed".

This brings us to the importance of people. We are in awe of the technology and innovation, but the real killer app is YOU.

Have A Great Day.


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