After seeing several people sharing this article cranking on about how the world of technology isn’t moving fast enough, I chose to write down my problems with it here instead of comments on Facebook. Thanks, Tumblr!
Here’s the problems:
1. It’s too impatient.
Really, the article contradicts itself in pointing out some amazing technological advances happening right now while existing to point out how no great technological advances are happening right now. Hey, I have plenty of moments when I feel kind of down that the last invention to really change my life was the iPhone. But things are happening at an incredible rate, and just because you’re still using Facebook and email (and, um, your phone presumably) does not mean that the world is somehow stagnating technologically.
2. The world has always been full of copycats and people with bad ideas.
Pointing out that the last batch of new startups listed on Techcrunch are boring is not a point. The true innovators are few and far between. They always have been and they always will be. Expecting all (or even most) new services to be radically innovative is like taking a camera into a large political rally and think it’s going to be easy finding profound and insightful people.
3. Most services are about improving what we’re already doing, not doing something new
They simply more convenient and efficient ways of doing things we were already doing. Facebook: keeping in touch with friends. YouTube: watching videos. Even Square, the app that has most made me feel like I’m living in The Glorious Future, is just a simple way of paying for things. To put it mildly, almost all new services are not created to completely turn our worldview upside down. They’re about the simple things that make up our daily lives.
There will be earth-shattering inventions before 2020. We all know it. “Radical shifts” are awesome, but we can still let Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all their clones let us do what they were made to do: live our lives, just as we somehow managed to do before the internet, and just as we’ll want to do after those inevitable radical shifts get to us.