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Idea vs. Technology: Mind the Gap

3 MIN READ   Web

Whitelaw Mitchell Staff By Álvaro Espinoza
Lead Developer

Today, the gap between available technologies is not as big, and it can certainly be harder to differentiate between a business’s tech capabilities upfront. Hardware has been democratised, and many business are selling software as a service to harness technology to streamline day to day business operations.

Over the past century, machines and the hardware that powers them has been the focus of much of the technological growth we’ve seen. Previously, a business’s capacity was defined by the hardware limitations required to power their business. It makes sense when, not so long ago, the maximum storage capacity from an expensive computer was not even enough to save the pictures of your cat that you had on your smartphone.

Let’s consider three accounting businesses: one keeping handwritten books, a second one using an indexation system to store the same books, and a third one with the same indexation system, with hardware capable of making calculations. In this scenario, there is no need to even debate which company is better equipped.

Today, the gap between available technologies is not as big, and it can certainly be harder to differentiate between a business’s tech capabilities upfront. Hardware has been democratised, and many business are selling software as a service to harness technology to streamline day to day business operations.

Consider this: technology allows some companies like Airbnb and Uber to connect real business with customers and position themselves as industry leaders, without offering accommodation or transportation directly.

Thanks in part to the relatively low upfront investment required for the latest technology, you can beat your competitors if you harness technology in a creative way. I’ve seen many bad websites in my years as a developer, but sometimes even a poorly built website can perform well, if it’s functioning in a new or unique way. In this example, the poorly executed but extremely good website, was rebuilt, so it functioned even more effectively. That messy but familiar site suddenly looked like an expensive website. They had a good idea that took them far, and a lot of luck along the way.

Of course, we can’t bet on luck, so a well-planned product or service is still ideal. You never know when someone will appear with the same idea as you, who is able to execute it better. In this instance, your project will over before you ever have enough revenue to defeat the millionaire investor who appears to be taking your project as inspiration to copy it directly.

From my experience of some ideas I’ve seen, let me tell you some tips to consider when you create a new idea which is going to require an investment in technology:

  1. Your idea could be amazing, but it needs to evolve before you can take it to market: static ideas with little room for innovation are destinated to die.
  2. Accept the new ideas are always good ideas in your imagination, and the same goes for every single other competitor in your market. The only way to know if it is worth making your idea real is if you try it.
  3. Sometimes a good idea is like turning on the engine in a car. Be passionate, but don’t expect your idea to take off without putting any fuel in it.
  4. If your idea is too big, it can be helpful to split it into smaller, more approachable. By breaking things down, it will be easier to tackle, and often the first step will help you with the second, and so on.
  5. If you have an idea in mind that you love, stop reading this and start to making it a reality! The technology exists and there are smart people in the world who can help bring your idea to life. 
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Whitelaw Mitchell staff By Álvaro Espinoza
Lead Developer

 

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