What's left for innovation?
With tomorrows announcement of the next iPhone, I think we can all agree we will see another incremental update to a phone that has lead a change in the mobile market. Not only that, but Apple has nearly single handedly uprooted the tech business where it stands. Their scope of effect has reached farther than the iPhone, past the iPad, and into their competitors designs. I won't be the one to say everyone copied the iPhone, because I don't really believe that to be true. But I will say that Apple has influenced a market that had otherwise become stale. With Microsoft, Google, and even Amazon paving the way to new product opportunities, we are reaching a point where innovation has been replaced with competition. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it defiantly puts pressure on the consumer to choose a side. And as unfair as it is for a consumer to have to choose one ecosystem to engage with at a time, the sheer amount of choice has risen to previously unseen heights. In most cases, this is good for innovation. With new ideas being implemented, and patents forcing other companies to think outside the box, the consumer has only room to benefit. But competition also makes the adoption of universal standards difficult. With this in mind, it's hard to think of a world where one product would be able to do everything a user may need. And as such, innovation takes a back seat. It's in the current global climate that we see companies fighting for ownership over what would otherwise be non-trivial things. And all this has got me thinking. What's left for innovation? What's left when no one is allowed to create without the fear of confrontation? What can we expect to come of ultimately obtrusive rivalry? I pose these questions not in doubt, but rather, in the hopes of new found ingenuity. The consumers of today are the creators of tomorrow after all. And it's not to say we have the right to guide where the market goes and what companies should and should not create, but when we reach the point where new inventions are regardlessly contested, is their really a victor? Who wins? Certainly not the consumer. I dream of a day where I can simply buy a phone without the fear of having to lose certain features in comparison to other products. Of course, that day may never come. But to give up on such a desire would be the complacency companies rely on to sell their products. And personally, I will not be an enabler of such habits. I'm curious what you guys think, for my opinion alone does not make up an entire community of buyers. Is the deeming of a new product an 'incremental update' a reasonable claim, or is it against the goal of what companies should be aiming for? Would we discover new possibilities at the same rate now as we would without such competition? And can the likes of old and new competitors survive in this market at all? I'm curious to what you guys have to say, so feel free to comment with your thoughts. This has really just been me getting some of my longer running thoughts out of my head into a more coherent form. Otherwise, I think that's all I have to say until tomorrow. Thanks for reading!
Money and success don't determine what lasts in history, people do. And for people who rely so much on exterior devices to assist them in everyday tasks, you'd think we'd make more room to share.
- Walker Smith