Winning the Hardware Software Game Winning the Hardware-Software Game - 2nd Edition

Using Game Theory to Optimize the Pace of New Technology Adoption
  • How do you encourage speedier adoption of your product or service?
  • How do you increase the value your product or service creates for your customers?
  • How do you extract more of the value created by your product or service for yourself?

Read more...

Latest Comments

  • Ron Giuntini said More
    As always a good read.
    I have always... Thursday, 25 January 2018
  • Anonymous said More
    Clearly, phones, and subsequently mobile... Friday, 15 September 2017

I have always thought about technology as a tool that we develop and improve and customize and adapt to use to help us do whatever it is we want to do faster and easier and better. In other words, we shape and control technology.

However, recently I’ve come to realize that, rather than simply us controlling technology, technology actually shapes and controls us.

Consider the example of clocks. Over time, we have developed and improved and customized and adapted clocks to meet our needs. We have huge clocks in watchtowers and churches that tell time for masses of people. We have wall clocks that tell time for organizations, and grandfather clocks that tell time for households, and watches and alarm clocks that tell time for us personally. And we customize all these clocks and watches to be more functional or more decorative to suit our needs and personalities. Clearly, it must be true that we shape and control clocks and watches.

On the other hand, consider how the penetration of clocks and watches in society has changed our behavior and thoughts. Before the widespread availability of clocks, together with access to adequate modes of communication and transportation, we weren’t able to precisely synchronize our actions on time. People from different locations could agree to meet at a certain location during a broad span of time – say at sunrise, before noon, around noon, afternoon, or at sunset – but we couldn’t be much more precise than that.

However, once clocks, together with access to modes of communication and transportation, became widely adopted, we could now be much more precise in our scheduling of events. We could agree to meet, say, at the local café at 10:00 am. That is, we now had the ability to synchronize our actions precisely. What’s more, we expected other people to use those same technologies, and thus have the ability to be as precise about time as we were.

And once we could synchronize our actions precisely, we started scheduling more and different actions for particular times. We became a people who regularly scheduled activities for precise times, rather than simply being a people who undertook activities at approximate times. We could say, then, that clocks (and communication and transportation technologies) changed the way we lived our lives – from approximate time spans to specifically scheduled periods. At the same time, once we could synchronize our actions precisely, we, as a society, started to develop attitudes and expectations (that is, cultural norms) about the importance of being on time and the extent to which people were esteemed for being punctual or stigmatized for being late.

As goes the case for clocks, so goes the case for all other technologies. That is, while we do shape technologies to meet our needs, it is perhaps more important to understand that, to a greater or lesser extent, technologies shape us – the way we live, what we do, and what we think. That kind of changes the picture, doesn’t it?

More Blogs

Playing the Virtual Reality Game

29-08-2018 - Hits:296 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Key Concepts Before we can understand the issues related to 360°, 3D, AR and VR technologies, we have to understand some key concepts. Immersion and Presence The goal of 360°, 3D, AR and VR technologies is to immerse users in an environment, so that they feel they have been “teleported” to this new...

Read more

Is Our Economy Playing the Demand Side or Supply Side Game?

10-08-2018 - Hits:308 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Which actions should government take to spur economic activity during economic recessions? Liberals tend to believe in Demand Side Economics, that is, demand drives the economy. So during recessions, government should stimulate demand through spending. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to believe in Supply Side Economics, that is, supply drives...

Read more

Why Don’t Projects Go As Planned?

26-06-2018 - Hits:522 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Business projects, government programs, and social activities. We make plans and projections for the activities we are going to undertake. Yet, when we actually implement the programs, all too often, the results don’t turn out as well as we had planned. Why not? I had a client, for example, that employed...

Read more

Playing the Public Roadways Game

03-05-2018 - Hits:855 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Electric scooters (“e-scooters”) are one of the latest hot new tech toys on the scene. Several start-ups have unloaded thousands of rentable e-scooters onto the streets of major cities in the US. The scooters offer users a cheap and convenient way to travel short distances across town. These scooters are...

Read more

Discussion of the Mapping Apps Game

07-04-2018 - Hits:734 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Mapping apps, such as Waze and Google Maps, have created enormous value for users by helping them get to where they’re going faster. As least initially, when few people were using mapping apps, the apps were particularly helpful for individual users in rerouting them around traffic problems. However, now that...

Read more

What Makes the Most Popular TED Talks So Popular?

19-03-2018 - Hits:900 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Suppose a friend told you that he was planning on doing a TED Talk, and he asked your advice on how to make his talk one of the most popular TED Talks out there. What would you tell him? This is exactly the type of question Data Scientists seek to answer...

Read more

Playing the Used Technology Game

09-03-2018 - Hits:1552 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

Smartphone manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, have thrived for the past fifteen years using a specific business model that involves (i) Swiftly releasing next generation products that contain significant advancements over previous generations of products, and (ii) Selling next generation technologies at a premium. However, more recently, sales of used and refurbished...

Read more

Why Is So Difficult to Extract Value from Data?

16-02-2018 - Hits:1114 - Ruth Fisher - avatar Ruth Fisher

This is a new idea I'm working on. I'd love to hear any feedback you might have.   We Collect and Analyze Data Why do we collect and analyze data? It informs us about (i) what happened in a given time and place and (ii) why (see Figure 1).  

Read more