Predicting Technology Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

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Predicting Technology Miklos A. Vasarhelyi

  1. 1. Predicting Technology Miklos A. Vasarhelyi Professor, Rutgers University Technology Consultant, Intelligent Financial Systems Group, ATT Laboratories
  2. 2. A What in Every home? <ul><li>&quot;While every telegram consists in itself of a written record of what is being communicated, Bell's instrument uses nothing but the voice, which cannot be captured in concrete form, and therefore would be no record of what was said or agreed upon. We leave it to you to judge whether any sensible man would transact his affairs by such a means of communication.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Bell expects that the subscribers to this service will pay to have the instruments installed in their premises and will thereby pay for each call made, with a monthly minimum if no calls are made. We feel that it is unlikely that any substantial number of people will agree to such an arrangement in view of the telegraph offices which are now giving efficient round- the-clock service in every neighborhood and the smallest towns with charge only the actual messages according to length.&quot; </li></ul>
  3. 3. A What in Every home? (II) <ul><li>&quot;In conclusion the committee feels that it must advise against any investment whatever in Bell's scheme. We do not doubt that it will find a few users in special circumstances such as between the bridge of a ship and the engine rooms, but any development of the kind and scale which Bell so fondly imagines is utterly out of the question.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This magnificent example of managerial judgment was the forecast of a Western Union Committee report at about the turn of the century (courtesy of the Newsletter of the Council of Northern Electric Engineers.) </li></ul>
  4. 4. AT&T 1969 Annual report <ul><li>In 1969, AT&T announced in its Annual Report that &quot;Picturephone service may be a billion dollar business by 1980.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Thomas Edison (customer survey) <ul><li>If they asked a user what they want in relation to candles they would have said longer burning, smokeless, candles …. never the light bulb </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user are not very good champions of revolutionary change </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Facts <ul><li>&quot;It is estimated that half of the world population never made a phone call.” </li></ul><ul><li>About 50% of the US population has Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>About 0.3% of the population of China has Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Iceland, Finland, and Sweden have larger Internet usage per capita than the US </li></ul>
  7. 7. Invention and Use <ul><li>Marconi invented radio in 1894 </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasting started in 1920 </li></ul><ul><li>First advertising in 1922 ‘toll broadcasting’ </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is developed typically for a particular purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensuing uses far outweigh the original intent </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Invention and Use (2) <ul><li>Internet is about 26 year old </li></ul><ul><li>Information appliances are going to appear in droves </li></ul><ul><li>Great time to be a Branded Services provider </li></ul><ul><li>Great time to take advantage of IP Common Platform </li></ul>
  9. 9. Invention and business <ul><li>The technology facilitates / creates things </li></ul><ul><li>the business model creates a real use </li></ul><ul><li>different business models may create different types of products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>technology and business model are different things and both require creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a bad business model or an immature technology can doom a good idea </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Predicting technology <ul><li>the diffusion of telephony </li></ul><ul><li>fax </li></ul><ul><li>instant photography </li></ul><ul><li>other predictions? </li></ul><ul><li>video-telepresence </li></ul><ul><li>video-phones </li></ul><ul><li>Internet telephony </li></ul><ul><li>satellite telephony </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some technologies transform everything <ul><li>Weapons & war </li></ul><ul><li>Electric light </li></ul><ul><li>Calculator & Slide rule </li></ul><ul><li>Color TV </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bitable goods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commodities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>secondary use??? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Modern World <ul><li>Railroads </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Combustion Engine </li></ul><ul><li>Electric Power </li></ul><ul><li>Radio, Television & Movies </li></ul><ul><li>Jet Travel </li></ul><ul><li>Plastics </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-electronics </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusions <ul><li>Large organizations resist and inhibit innovation </li></ul><ul><li>User are not very good champions of revolutionary change </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuing uses far outweigh the original intent </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and business model are different things and both require creativity </li></ul><ul><li>a bad business model or an immature technology can doom a good idea </li></ul>

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