JAN 27, 2011 10:22pm ET

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Tech Trends No Longer Linear

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Not that you haven't noticed yourself, but a lot of big overlapping changes are wafting through technology, and I don't mean the iPhone on Verizon.

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Comments (3)
Inevitably, as any industry or discipline becomes a bigger and bigger part of a society or civilization, it becomes so large that it requires specialization for it to progress. Part of the change in information technology as an industry is that computing capability, the core competency of what began in the garages of Ken Olsen and two guys named Hewlett and Packard, (and ultimately way back in a Navy warehouse, I suppose), is now handheld, earbudded, clicker controlled, HD'd or satellite refreshed - and it's literally everywhere. There's more compute power in a Gameboy (how many millions of those have sold now?) than there was on the lunar lander.

Trends are overlapping because at some previous point they split - now there are enough branches of IT and it's many applications that as digitization makes convergence possible, those of us who began in the industry (as you say - I'm an old DEC guy) are somewhat overwhelmed that there are multiple lines capable of being converged. When we started there were multiple brands, for sure, but they all strove to do pretty much the same thing. Now there are so many branches, I'm not sure we even have just one tree anymore. It's like a grove of aspens - they look like a forest, but they're all joined at the roots into one big organism.

Which means no one person or even organization can get their arms completely around it anymore. And that's where the old guys get nervous, because in the past, you could almost convince yourself it was possible.

Posted by p c | Friday, January 28 2011 at 1:47PM ET
Change never was linear. It has always been exponential. We have just been at the beginning, flatter part of the growth curve and are now coming to the elbow.
Posted by Keith O | Wednesday, February 02 2011 at 1:39PM ET
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