We are living in a most exciting time. Innovation from the technology sector continues to flourish, even in our hard economic times. It is the great upside of the massive tech bubble that burst in late 2001. From those ashes, new smarter and less expensive technologies were born enabling all manner of new Internet businesses to grow without the large sums of investment required during the bubble years. As a result of this growth in innovation is wide smattering of products and services being released weekly. For those of us who follow this space carefully, it can be exhausting to keep up with. I do it for my customers because I am trying to find the business value for them in all this. But you have to be careful not to be chasing fireflies. There are so many bright shiny objects floating around, it’s easy to be attracted to all of them. I see this daily in the social media sphere. Certain applications are all the rage and then fade away in favor of the next one. The average life of a firefly is 2 months, strangely enough which is about the same lifespan of the average bright shiny social media object.
I try not to spend my time chasing fireflies. I try to zoom in on business value. Could this be of use to any of my customers and if so, how? Because an application is “cool” or is even fun doesn’t mean it has business value. Time is precious and you should be careful not to invest too much time in things that are just not going to make it. Now that’s a tough call to make sometimes. After all, I didn’t think Twitter had any value when I first saw it. But that’s why my ear is always to the ground and my eyes are always open. When I saw Twitter continue to flourish, I jumped back in and went deep with it. I found the value. An open mind the flexibility are critical aspects of surviving in this new chaotic time.
Beware of bright shiny objects. Focus on real business value. Focus on your customers.