My Amazon author page!!!!
The Northwest Passage of Software
(or why can’t we all just get along)
A solution moves a business problem from “business” to a process that will solve the problem. It is a misconception that it must always be technology that is used for the solution. We have a modern world where technology is often a good fit for the overall solution, but sometimes it isn’t.
Watchmakers with precise parts and specific goals for those parts are a good example of something that technology can replicate (you can always buy an inexpensive technology driven digital watch) but can’t replace. A watch from a craftsman fits on your wrist just a little “smarter” than others do.
But technology is replacing the watch. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to be old enough to have a watch. Now, more and more people rely on their cellular phones as their “time keeper. As someone who travels I have to say I frequently use my cell phone now for local time, and my watch to keep tabs on my “home time.”
The interesting reality of this is technology can replicate the watchmaker but in the end can’t replace him or her. It can however, over time change the paradigm so that the by hand solution becomes too expensive for every day consumption.
Still there remains a need for the expensive watchmaker to create the timepiece rather than the watch. A non-technology solution or innovation.
So assuming that the postulation above is correct there are solutions that don’t require technology. Any number of overall solutions and process refinements that do not require an application of technology to create them. Then we have to argue what technology is.
- If you use a computer to design a solution without technology, doesn’t in fact the solution have technology in the design process?
- Light bulbs and electricity are technology (well they were considered that in the dawn of their creation now we assume they are there).
- What is technology?
That question is one that will keep me looking for the Northwest Passage of Software. Our loose coupling of “technology-solutions-business problems-non-technical solutions” is starting to unravel.
Even that wonderful watchmaker uses technology to manually put together the watch. The question I guess is, when don’t we use technology?