If you could see your future, would you really want to? What a crapshoot. Good luck or a losing streak? Health or catastrophic illness? Flush or broke? A nice, peaceful demise at an old age or…
However, all of us in the technology business have seen the future, to a certain extent. Every time we open our email, we find press releases and news items about upcoming products and services that weren’t available yesterday. The party line segued into the personal/office phone that turned into the cordless handset that turned into the cellphone (and don’t those of us of a certain age hark back to “Star Trek” every once in a while?). Univac turned into Wang that morphed into the PC that now is that tiny device in your hand. Movie screens evolved into eye-straining black-and-white televisions that grew from broadcast to cable that turned into big HDTV flat screens that again have shrunken into mobiTV.
And what about all the magic we see at our major trade shows, including the recent CES? While much of the gear shown in Las Vegas never really goes commercial in the short term, it does demonstrate what can be done, given the right time and circumstances.
Interviewed recently on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators,” Consumer Electronics Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro, fresh from his group’s signature show, of course is bullish on the future of communications technology, and his new book The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream bears that out.
“Innovation is pulling the United States along,” he said. In particular, he pointed to both the mobile Internet and cable technology as catalysts right now, commenting that "Internet on the go is more popular than mobile TV" and “cable is one of the best in pushing broadband as a revenue source.”
Shapiro believes there still isn’t enough competition out there, and that’s one of the reasons the United States continues to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speed, services and dominance. He also thinks operators have to ramp up their global plans because “technology supersede borders.”
So, it appears that our immediate future is all about competition and innovation. This month’s issue, with its focus on new revenue streams, should give you at least one “do-able” idea for 2011. And when you have a success story to tell, send it to me (email@example.com), and I’ll share.