As the rhythm of change accelerates, and we see more progress in almost every field, one thing to have in mind, is that technologies may stay around us for less time. This is important if you are investing in new technologies. The biggest investment is your time, learning thoroughly the new technology and becoming proficient at it.
The effect can be exacerbated when it’s about technologies that have been created to fill the gap until other things fall in place.
Netflix started its DVD subscription service in 1999, and it took them eight years to start offering streaming. They couldn’t get into streaming from the get go, because the network bandwidth just wasn’t there.
But it wasn’t only Netflix’ service that shifted, the underlying technology also did. The first DVD player was commercialized in 1996 and DVD sales peaked around 2004. The Blu-Ray disc was released in 2006 and adopted as a standard two years later. Blu-Ray sales peaked by 2013, falling almost 50% the following year. The Blu-Ray was the standard in American homes for about three or four years only (between the time we all shed our “investment” in our DVD player, and we signed up for streaming).
If you paid attention to last Sunday’s commercials, 5G is already being marketed as an alternative to broadband connections. What will come next?
All technologies are transitional, some last longer than others.