I came to business school because I wanted to get into high-tech. I’ve known for a few years that is where I want to end up. Where else does an undercover nerd like me belong? Where else could I get paid to think, manage, and help produce the same items that my daily life hinges around?
While visiting a bunch of schools and deciding where I would submit applications to, I was privileged to have taken part in the following conversation:
Ms. Fellow Potential MBA: So what do you want do you want to do after school?
Me: Well, I really want to get into high-tech. I really think it’ll be the best fit for me.
Ms. Fellow Potential MBA: Interesting. A lot of people say that, but it seems they always have a different definition of “high-tech”. What do you mean in specific?
Me: *pauses to wonder if I’m suddenly in a mock interview* Well, you know … it’s high-tech. Unlike low-tech.
Ms. Fellow Potential MBA: *unimpressed by my joke* Yeah, that seems to be the answer.
And this forced me to really think about this for the first time in awhile. I had become so comfortable just saying “high-tech” and having everyone instantly assume web 2.0 stuff or mobile, that I never really thought about the phrase. I actually remember a high school teacher warning me about this exact same thing. People love to think of computers when they say technology … but a wheel is technology. Hell, a rock that you mash corn with is a form of technology.
So, in order to help me with my future job search and in articulating my life goal to others, I came up with a short personal list of characteristics I feel apply to things that are “high-tech”. I use it as a quick mental guide to make sure I don’t allow myself to sound dumb again. I will caveat this list with it all has to do with computers, mobile devices, and the internet. While this are a lot of examples in bio-tech or sustainability (clean-tech) that might count, I think “bio” and “clean” are better descriptors than “high”.
Disruptive is such a buzz word that how could I avoid using it? Realistically, high-tech is often about doing something in a completely different way and realizing significant gains. It’s not really about small incremental improvements (that’s what regular technology is for), but those large order of magnitude gains. The “game changers”.
Involves an electrical current
While someone may be able to think of some obscure example that doesn’t run on electricity, generally speaking anything that I would put into “high-tech” is going to run on power of some sort. This includes computers, laptops, phones, watches, etc.
Runs on a processor
Silicon is running pretty much everything nowadays. I don’t think it’s a 100% requirement (there is some work in batteries that might just fall under high-tech), but generally speaking there is some type of processor that is running the show.
Again, not a 100% rule … but everything is networked nowadays. While my current watch doesn’t connect to anything, I did get an MSN watch as a gift that downloaded weather forecasts for me.
Basically, I’m keeping it simple. Outside of these 4 rules … you can run amok with whatever defines the category for you. I think most of us have a preconceived notion when we hear the words “high” and “tech” mention in succession, and 9 times out of 10 you should just go with your gut. But just in case some would-be MBA wants to grill your life goals … point them to this page.
- Damien Peters
I am a big Android fan.
I currently own a Samsung Epic 4G (from the Samsung Galaxy S line) and I love it. A great screen, great processor, a keyboard, and access to Sprint’s 4G network. But most importantly, the Android OS is finally stable, fast, and feature laden enough to hang with its fruit inspired counterpart. I could go on and on about the greatness of my phone … but this post isn’t about that.
For those of you who don’t know, it looks like Samsung is going to be the first (possibly just one of the first) out the gate to compete with the iPad head on. They are taking the beauty that is the Android platform and putting it into the tablet form. This should deliver a comparable experience and not leave you tied down to Apple (i.e. all your apps don’t have to come from the App store). As someone who has issues with the amount of control I would have to give up to own an iPhone … this device speaks to me. Check out Engadget for more details on the actual device.
But here is the problem … the app store just isn’t ready …
I have many issues with Apple, but there is one fundamental thing that they get right 95% of the time and I utterly respect them for it. They only release products when they are finished (not caring about how anticipated it is)!
Apple hasn’t been perfect (Apple TV), but they are still leading the pack. If they release an iPad, they already have killer apps developed, a app subsystem to support it, and have started getting buy in with key partners early enough (200 accessories at launch). There would already be several “killer apps” and a strong ecosystem to ensure consumers that as soon as they take their new eToy out the box that it will spring to life and work as advertised.
Android … *sigh*
Google (and partners) innovate so fast that they rush to release. Instead of doing all the testing and auxiliary support needed, they often take whatever they have working out to the market before fine tuning the details. They sometimes rush things unnecessarily and force the users to be beta testers. Bugs aren’t found out in a lab, but on twitter.
And this is my fear with the Galaxy Tab. There are already reports here indicating the new tablet won’t have good support from the app store. Hasn’t that become one of the main driving factors in smartphone (and smart devices) adoption over the past few years. Isn’t there a mean race between smartphone operating systems to release good app stores filled with 50 different timers, 120 different calculators, and 4 different “iBeer” apps? How are we supposed to properly enjoy this device when the software isn’t ready?
Well, I do hope that Samsung takes a point from Apple and realizes that they have already lost first mover advantage. As a result, a well produced product at a compelling price point and that offers a rewarding experience is what will be needed to knock out the incumbent. Android has only matured into a proper smartphone operating system within the past year or so (I owned a T-Mobile G1 … the first Android phone, which reeked of “we have to get it out the door”). Let’s not rush things and lets make sure that Android is ready to make the move to a tablet form factor before we start throwing it in the hands of consumers and besmirch the fine name that Android is building for itself.
Eh … maybe I should stop complaining and hurry up and develop a killer HD app for the tablet and corner the market.
- Damien Peters
This marks the beginning of my blog.
You are tuned into the rantings, thoughts, and predictions of none other than Damien Peters.
Basically, I have been blogging in one form or another for about 5 years. Sadly, it has always been in the realm of something drastically different than my tru love. This provided me with a fun and interesting diversion from my regular day to day, but wasn’t my true love. And while I will continue to write elsewhere, I will finally indulge myself and talk about my other all consuming passion … technology and the business of technology.
Instead of rambling on … Just make sure you come back often and be prepared for some deep insights, solid non-nerdy (and nerdy) jokes, and hopefully more than just another blogger covering all the exact same thing that you see on TechCrunch and Engadget.
- Damien Peters