Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Ideas Take Time to Be Accepted

The Greatest Product Demo Ever and What to Learn from It

Today, the mouse, the hyperlink and lots of other computer-related conveniences are essential to efficient use of the latest technology. But would you believe they were introduced decades ago and only won acceptance in the last 20 to 40 years?

The problem isn't that we're stupid. It's that ideas "travel through cultures at much slower rates than we realize," according to the article linked below. Especially if the idea requires change -- e.g., throwing something away and replacing it with something else; or re-learning skills; or co-ordination by large independent organizations.

For fun, imagine you invent a device to replace QWERTY keyboards. You know it's fantastic and you have endorsements from the brightest minds in the world. How would you convince people to stop typing the normal way and use your new idea? How would you convince manufacturers to take a risk? Consumers? How long would it take?

Well, don't ask Engelbart [Ed: inventor of the mouse, the hyperlink, hierarchical lists, user testing and other innovations]. One of the ideas he demoed on the same day was the chording keyboard (in the video watch his left hand) -- a small device with five piano-like keys designed to replace the keyboard. 40-plus years later, his idea is generally unknown.

So, will we still be using the same, or very similar technology to that which we use today in 2019? If not, it will be small, nimble companies, not the big guys (if any are left after the current economic crash), who will show the rest of the world how to evolve with technology. May I suggest that the ability to evolve rapidly may be the survival secret of this decade.

A friend of mine told me a maxim I believe originated with an economist: Everything that succeeds will get big; everything that gets big will fail. We have corporate Pac-Man times, then corporate split-up times -- the business gets fat and slim in an attempt to survive in changing economic times.

Small and nimble is the style today. Smart and psychic is probably the best combination of survival skills. If you need copywriting on somewhat less than a regular basis, have you thought of hiring an experienced, award-winning freelance copywriter/Web writer/Direct mail writer when the workload gets overwhelming and the deadlines loom ever closer?

Think about it. Think about me. Go to my LinkedIn profile to see samples and all that other stuff. I'd enjoy meeting and getting work for you. My work has won business and awards for local, regional and international companies -- business-to-business to consumer products. Let me work wonders for you and your products.

[Read article.]

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