I’m beginning to think that there are only hardware trends in tech (faster, cheaper) and social trends in software.
My favourite question to ask people in tech is: “what about your job could not be done 15 years ago?”. Most of their answers have to do with standards (common protocols emerging) and organizational will towards technological solutions (“my boss 15 years ago didn’t understand the benefits and the employees didn’t have the skills to implement”).
This says to me that innovation is not cross-pollinating between software industries. The fact that google and 4square exist doesn’t have any direct implications for insurance company efficiency.
To understand where the next breakthrough will come, take today’s technology and add higher median computer familiarity within an organizational system.
The days have arrived where back offices of companies are populated by middle-aged men and women who do nothing but administer computer systems all day. That’s a pretty interesting development.
So, what’s next?