Technology is Stuff That Doesn't Work Yet
May 17, 2011
It's about what we mean by technology, and how it is changing the nature of media, and hence advertising, and some strategic responses to the change in the media environment.
The quote concerns the modern semantic halo of the word technology - it means anything we don't yet understand how to use, what to do with.
It hinges on the triumverate of laws that are the drivers of exponential change in our world: Moore's Law, Kryder's Law, and Guilder's Law.
And exponential change is super weird - it's not a feature of any older technologies, only post silicon/digital ones. Older, mechanical, technologies evolve incrementally.
[Imagine if cars got twice as fast and half as expensive every 18 months.]
As the graphs in the deck shows, processing, memory, and bandwidth are well on their way to approaching a marginal cost of zero.
When things are free[ish] they rapidly become ubiquitous, and as Shirky says, abundance breaks more things than scarcity.
The printing press was an incredibly important technology, but only when everyone could read did the world change.
So what happens when media/content is infinite? When every reader is a writer?
I have no idea, but in the interim I posited some thoughts about content creation for brands that adapt to the existing media environment.
1. Principle of Ubiquity - Make More Stuff
2. Principle of Alacrity - Respond to Stuff Faster
3. Principe of Utility - Do Stuff that Earns its Own Attention
4. Principle of Interactivity - Do Stuff That Gives People A Role
And it touches on the ideas that technology is a medium, and that every new channel changes the whole system.
When I wrote about alacrity and ubiquity - I meant things like the Old Spice Response campaign: more stuff that responds faster. [I just didn't know that I meant that at the time.]
I noticed that Grant posted something in memoriam of the 10th anniversay of Douglas Adams' death, which quoted the article from 1999 that I was pulling from, so it seemed appropriate to post this.
I was thinking of going back in and updating the references but decided against it.
Whatever minutely prescient elements exist within the slides will remain fixed in the amber of keynote.