Keeping up isn't easy.
Selling yourself, your products and your services (well) is changing fast. There's new rules, new channels, new competition, new market segmentation, new niching, new everything. Meantime, the preferences of your customers are evolving in lockstep with technology.
So how do some organizations take it in stride while others lay paralyzed in their own technological indecision? What makes them better poised to evolve over everyone else? Crystal ball? Time travelling DeLorean? (We suspect Sergey and Steve have the DeLorean but they don't seem to want to share it.)
Don Tapscott has probably described the importance of getting engaged in technology best:
Personal use is a pre-condition for any kind of comprehension.
We couldn't agree more. To take this thought one step further -- sustained personal use is a pre-condition for any kind of predictive mark. We're not suggesting you'll be able to see (or travel) in time, but the transition from one disruptive era to another may be far less bumpy (and pricey!) All you really need to do is join the conversation.
An example from a recent New York Times Tech section:
“There’s never been anything like this experience for mobile software,” Mr. Smith says of the App Store boom. “This is the future of digital distribution for everything: software, games, entertainment, all kinds of content.”
As the App Store evolves from a kitschy catalog of novelty applications into what analysts and aficionados describe as a platform that is rapidly transforming mobile computing and telephony, it is changing the goals and testing the patience of developers, bolstering sales of the Apple motherships the applications ride upon — the iPhone and iPod Touch — and causing Apple’s competitors to overhaul their product lines and business models. It even threatens to open chinks in Apple’s own corporate armor.
Thanks in large part to the iPhone, introduced in 2007, and the App Store, which opened its doors last year, smartphones have become the Swiss Army knives of the digital age.
So, just by keeping an eye on this particular conversation you can start to predict future disruption. Or at least keep from having that blank look when your boss comes calling for your mobile marketing strategy.
You don't need to go out and implement fresh strategy every time you read a new blog post or editorial, but you should start to integrate yourself into the the conversation.
Making the leap after a disruptive technology has taken hold is like finding 1.21 gigawatts of electricity in 1985.