It’s not the technology, stupid!

March 18, 2011 § 7 Comments

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The problem with technology skeptics like the many peers I met during my MBA, is that they fail to see that it is not only the changes on technology what is important, but the changes of business models and shifts on consumer behaviors. They just take it personally and refuse to accept changes just because of personal preferences and habits they refuse to change.

There is nothing more troublesome than to meet “dinosaurs” with 30 years old or less! People without a Facebook account because of unfounded privacy concerns, people fearing to blog or to reveal their name somehow online, etc. I wonder what this people have to hide. They don’t understand that is not about avoiding been online, but to learn how to have a positive and educated online presence.

I don’t expect people to know and handle all new tech evolved in almost light speed around us like I do. No! but I do expect them to at least be open to try things out and understand the implication technology has in business and society in general. I watch many of them trying, and those that see the big picture, get fascinated about all this changes as I do! (one year ago I didn’t know what a blog was!, so no, I am (was) not a “techy”!

To be more clear, let me put an example about my frustrations in class. Lets talk about eBooks for 2 minutes. Some classmates my age are worried about the growing trend of eBooks and the fear of not been able to reading on paper in the future. They focus on demonizing digital content distribution instead of seeing all the opportunities it brings. Besides all convenience and advantages that digital books have (there are of course also disadvantages) they fail to see that the digital revolution is not only about disrupting content consumption, but more importantly, about content production!. Authors have now the chance to difuse more their content through digital channels. Call it the “market of niches” or “the long tail”, etc. But even current famous authors like Seth Godin are giving books almost for free if shared via twitter about releases. Other savvy ones give their books for free for some limited time online in order to diffuse their content and they then earn from giving conferences.

By reducing intermediaries that are not providing value, production cost are shrinking enabling more authors to produce, specially those with hard access to current big publishing houses that are sometimes more focus on making money (delivering best hits) rather than distributing other good work. And we all know it happen very similar in the music industry and will continue happening to more industries where intermediaries used to provide value in the offline world, but don’t do the job any more in the digital world. Change is imminent, so lets discuss about how to embrace it and make the transition sustainable, rather than fighting against it. Specially if you are a top MBA candidate!

There was yesterday a fearly guy in class that first complained about the whole point of using facebook due privacy, bla bla bla, and later, when asked how Facebook should make money, he then simple responded that Facebook should sell the data to make more money. There is nothing worse than “offline” trolls! You can simply not deleted them that easily! :)

Blogged from my iPad! Sorry for any typo.

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§ 7 Responses to It’s not the technology, stupid!

  • I agree with Tony. Even though I am not satanizing companies like FB or Google for privacy issues (I believe that the info they have about their users is info their users have freely given to them), this attitude towards privacy might harm them in the long run. That is, if they ever have a competitor that offers a better alternative…

    • Guerson says:

      My post was related to the unfounded concerns about privacy.
      As Jacobo mentions, we provide freely our data to facebook.
      Of course it would be great to have data more secured, but we can not wish to have everything for free. Or do we? Are customers willing to pay for privacy? I pay 100usd per year for my email account while 99% of the class uses gmail, which scans emails by a robots for advertising purposes.

      Yes? There will always be privacy concerns with fb and others, but let’s get involved and discuss about it, rather than just avoiding all possible contact and then having to hear guys in class discussing about facebook when they don’t even have an account!
      You don’t have an account? I respect that! But then please shut up when discussing about facebook and their areas of improving in this regard.

      • Anthony Hess says:

        I think Google is much better with privacy than Facebook. I’m OK with robots scanning my information and targeting ads at me – in fact I welcome it when it means I don’t need to spend money. The same goes for Facebook using my profile information – what I don’t like is the constantly changing security settings to confuse non technical users into sharing themselves with the world.

        When I first started using Facebook in late 2004 (or so – you had to have a university email account to get on there so I was still in grad school), it wasn’t like that. The hard part is that once they have a critical mass of users it becomes hard to stay connected and drop from Facebook.

        • Guerson says:

          Personally, I am starting to use facebook less and less (directly), but I still use it “indirectly” by great vertical apps like instagram (for sharing pictures), posterous (for micro blogging), wordpress (blogs), etc that connect with facebook.

          Fact is that facebook has become the mainstream of horizontal social networks, something myspace never was, so I don’t see facebook disappearing any time soon. I do think they will successfully become the online passport! And maybe even an online currency???
          Let’s wait and see :)

  • Anthony Hess says:

    I disagree that Facebook isn’t a privacy and security problem. That’s the point of the software.

    Coming from the defense industry I might be a little paranoid, but there are so many scenarios where the information you put online can be used to socially engineer you. This can mean defrauding you out of money, or getting your governments secrets out of you, or just plain old being a stalker.

    In the long run I think Facebook’s lack of concern for privacy will end up damaging the company, just as MySpaces gaudy pages and unfavorable demographic focus killed it.

  • Kato Kunlee says:

    I agree my techy friend :)

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