The Economy is dead. So we are told. Can we resuscitate it? (Who knows CPR?) - Clearly not the politicians, Ed. All of us feel the pinch, we’ve ploughed all our dough into bricks and mortar, bought flatscreen TVs and a new old car. Luckily interest rates remain low and this gives us a short amount of time to surge forward. In the tech industry there have been a few nostradami (nostradamuses?) among us calling a second dot.com bubble, although the reality of it is rather more positive. It seems this time round we are being a little more cautious; and by ‘we are being a little more cautious’, I mean ‘Once bitten twice shy’. The banks are lending less and more responsibly. Those of us unfortunate enough to recall the first internet crash of the 90s (I had lastminute.com shares following their IPO) are doing all we can to avoid getting burned twice – after all we have wifes and kids now right? And the new talent – yes you – are finding your own, better ways to do things.
OK so some of the stable business models from the tech industry of previous decades survived:
- Hosted web and public cloud Email solutions (Rocketmail, HoTMaiL becomes GMail)
- Web search engines (borne out of Web directories)
- Targeted Adverts (an evolution of Banner Ads)
Each of the examples above existed in a more primitive format before the dot.com crash, has survived and subsequently revolved into a brighter, new, shiny, “web 2.0″ format.
So what about the ancillary and support services of the tech industry – have they revolved?
- Software / Operating Systems (Microsoft)
- IT Support and consultancy
Well the first one is obvious, we’ve answered that above – Software is going the way of the cloud. In an age of web, operating systems are becoming synonymous with browsers – a war that Microsoft probably thought it had won when it defeated Netscape in Battle of the Browsers 1.0. Of course now Google can’t resist joining the arms race.
Let’s take the second; Hardware. Devices have revolved, the clunky laptops are now sleek tablets – swallow them with water and your headache is all but gone. Mobile phones are smaller, with better connectivity, have built in video cameras and can help you become an Olympian .
Righto. QED: Revolve or die. Er hang on, we forgot IT support and consultancy. The IT support industry was built out of the typewriter maintenance industry. In a sense it has already revolved once, moving from supporting mechanoids to computers. In its basic form you have a problem with your computer, you call somebody and they come to fix it or rather with the power of the web, they remotely connect to you, perform magic before your very eyes (look no mouse up my sleeve) and PUFF your problem is gone. Fine you say, but I don’t need help, my Apple Mac never crashes, doesn’t need rebooting, requires no antivirus and GMail takes care of all my email needs. I don’t delete or archive emails or even check for spam or virus.
IT just Works™.
How does an industry which is so reliant on the basic premise of ‘tech is hard; tech need fix’ survive in a world of ‘my 5 year old niece can do that’? In the words of Seth Godin ‘Be a Purple Cow’. Great, thanks Seth. I’m really not sure how a Purple Cow is going to save IT Support’s bacon.