Tags – Tech Distractions
From a psychology perspective, Maslow’s Hammer refers to our cognitive bias to over rely on a familiar tool. These days, this familiar tool is taking the shape of an over reliance on tech.
This is especially the case with tech enthusiasts.
The Overselling Dilemma
Most individuals, and especially professionals, try to oversell their work.
And, by doing so, they may try to demonstrate that what they do is actually worth doing. However, what ends up coming out is not attractive at all.
When this tendency to oversell translates into tech, tech enthusiasts end up overvaluing what a given piece of technology can do. They may even forget to view the piece of tech from a customer value perspective and why it is needed at a business level. As a result, this piece of tech may act as a tech distraction, doing more harm than good. And, when this situation culminates and the tech distractions multiply, the macro picture of business starts to dissipate.
This tendency to oversell is different from a seasoned entrepreneur’s perspective who may look at each item from a business value angle. It can be as simple as a cost vs effectiveness angle or looking at a macro picture in a micro manner. All in all, it is important to view things in an incremental fashion while keeping the big picture in mind.
The MVP Angle
Most of you must be quite familiar with the concept of an MVP – a minimum viable product.
Instead of throwing everything into a project, it is important to test out the parameters, e.g. the tech, with some field testing.
From there on, each improvement needs to have a commercial angle. And, in an ideal world, each change better pay and sustain itself. A good example here is Facebook.
The Growth of Facebook
This may sound trivial but Facebook was neither the 1st nor the biggest social media network for a long time.
Friendster accumulated 3 million users per month quite quickly and could not manage the new signups. Things got so bad that pages wouldn’t load and the servers could not cope with the demand at all. Simply, Friendster had included too many features in its product while not being able to manage the load.
And, all this happened while the founder of Friendster rejected a $30 million offer from Google and instead went for venture capital investment.
So, the lesson here is, it may be attractive to accumulate tech options. But, if you cannot manage them, your business is going to fail.
The story of MySpace is a little better known.
But, you may not know that the founders of MySpace basically copied the layout of Friendster and left out the features they did not like.
But, then a similar thing happened: the website slowed down and over saturated itself with ads. Meanwhile, Facebook started to rise and basically took away all the MySpace traffic that was getting agitated.
MySpace went from being valued at $12 billion to being sold for $35 million within a space of a couple of years. This again shows that accumulating tech features for the sack of tech hurts a business in the long run.
We have come to the most epic case of failure.
Have you seen the state of 3D modelling today. Most of us do not see 3D modelling as market ready today in 2020.
Now, imagine a social media platform with 3D modelling in 2003. This is exactly what Second Life was.
And, as the name suggests, users were able to live a second, virtual life on the platform.
Then, the platform reached a stage where people started making a living out of it and as you can imagine, this made the platform liable for far more than a virtual world.
Sadly, Second Life could not manage the load and ongoing cases of fraud and other security issues, killing most of its traffic and hence, falling from grace.
The Longevity of Facebook
Facebook, on the other hand, is still going relatively strong.
Arguably, already gone past its peak, Facebook took the right steps to slowly grow the platform, enabling itself to venture out into other areas.
Today, the Facebook group owns 4 of the top 10 social media networks with the most users, including Facebook itself, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. In short, Facebook has been able to read the needs of the customers and act accordingly.
In all fairness, Facebook has taken a couple of long term risks, e.g. jumping into home tech and augmented reality and virtual reality. But, if you reach the success of Facebook, you may as well take a couple of risks which may pay off massively. However, until you reach there, don’t let tech become a distraction.
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