Friday, 01 June 2012

What have you invested in your tech?

There are many forms of investment that we make in our tech, fiscal, intellectual and sometimes emotional. We can relatively easily measure our fiscal investment as we generally know what we've spent on a PC or application, but what about the intellectual investment that we have made in our tech?

As we work on our PC's or read this article on our tablets or smartphones I'm sure we can all appreciate some of the intellectual investment we've made. We've had to take the time to learn how to browse the web and find this article, even how to switch the machine on and start the browser application up. All of this requires an intellectual investment on our part.

Despite the efforts made by developers and designers, all software requires some level of learning. For some applications they will be learned relatively quickly as the application may be simple, or the interface may be so well designed that learning how the application is used is an intuitive process building upon what has previously been learned. But for a lot of software, time and in many cases money has to be invested to learn how to use the application to get the best from the fiscal investment made in it.

Once we've learned how to use something most of us continue to use it the way that we were taught, sometimes figuring out new more efficient ways of performing our tasks. We make that intellectual investment without really giving it any thought as quite often it needs to be done to perform our job role or to further an interest.

But with technology, as in life, change is inevitable. The technology sector in particular has a reputation for introducing new products quickly with older ones being superseded, sometimes within a year of launch. While from a companies perspective there is a fiscal need to continuously improve and release products so that the company remain in business.

From a customer point of view it isn't necessarily a good thing, we may not want to invest the money in the latest whizzy technology, and also having learned how to use the previous version of a product we may not want to invest ourselves in learning something new. Even though in many cases that something new is an evolution and so learning that new version builds on much of the knowledge we've already gained.

But we are human and many of us have a dislike for change and resist it, even fear it. Quite often it's unfounded but it certainly makes it more difficult to learn something new. But this fear is hard wired into us, in the past as our species evolved change could well have meant a survival challenge.

I don't suppose there is any way of measuring our intellectual investment, for one thing we quite often don't appreciate how much we actually do know. But I'm sure that if we could, it would far outweigh the money that was spent.


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