Technology, Innovation and Business Decisions

Nowadays, it is becoming fashionable to belittle technology. I hear people say things like “technologies should not drive business decisions“, “define your requirements without worrying about technology and ask technology [people] to deliver them“. May sound logical at first, but is it? Consider this imaginary conversation between Bill, a technologist and Plato, a Platonist businessperson.

Bill: How do you commute to work?
Plato: I drive.
Bill: Why don’t you fly or teleport?
Plato: What do you mean?
Bill: Why do you use a car that drives on the road, why not a personal flying machine or a teleporter?
Plato: Because they aren’t invented yet.

Defining business needs without consideration of technology is impractical. It is being quixotic and ignoring the current reality. Leave the dreaming for the innovators since they and businesspeople are usually different people.

Think about ten important inventions that changed the world. How many of them were created with a business plan? How do you think the wheel was invented? How was fire discovered? Did someone create this World Wide Web with a business plan? Many important things were created with a business plan. The point here is not that business is unimportant, but that technology is important on its own merit.

Sound business practices have an important place in this world. Technology and innovation have a place in this world. One is not master to the other.

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