As Technology Changes, Do You?

The Internet is awash with articles discussing the rapidly changing pace of technology. If we look back on how technology impacted our lives ten years ago, we see a very different picture compared with today. Going back to an even further twenty years ago, it seems almost unbelievable to see how we have advanced in such a short space of time.

So how rapid is the change? One thing for sure is that the degree or rate of change is speeding up. This indicates that major disruptive change that was expected to have occurred over a 10-year period could now happen over a 5-year period, or even faster. In 2010 Gartner predicted that Cloud Computing, Cloud/Web Platforms and the Media Tablet were 5 to 10 years away from mainstream adoption. In three short years I think we are already there. 3D Printing was positioned as a greater than 10-year period till mainstream adoption, and we are already seeing great strides and acceptance in this technology area. gartner-priority-matrix-09-10-111

The reason for the acceleration in technology development is probably two fold. Firstly we have a global IT industry that continues to broaden and diversify. Forbes places Tech jobs as one of the highest growing sectors, fueled primarily by Big Data, Cloud Computing, and a growing interest in molecular computing. The second reason for the rapid change is consumer demand. The consumers hunger for faster, longer battery life, lighter, more mobility, more features etc. is driving the pressure to manufacturers of both software and hardware to continually innovate. So as long as these two market forces persist, my advice is to fasten your seat belt and prepare for an awesome journey.

What do we have to look forward to? Gartner is positioning 3D Bio Printing, Human Augmentation, mobile robots, and quantum computing as the 10-year vision. We now know, we can probably expect these transformational technologies a lot sooner.

The question to ask yourself is, “How do you prepare for the technology changes that are going to impact your life?” One major decision you will need to make is, what is your consumer profile? Are you an early adopter, or will you wait on the sidelines to see if a technology will be worth your time and effort to invest energy into it? Lets face it, technology change does require energy and relearning. From something as simple as purchasing a new cell phone, to working the latest Business Intelligence tools, you will need to retrain the old brain.

To me the answer is simple. If you intend to be in the IT industry or want to ensure that you benefit from the latest technology, then you need to make the commitment to setting aside time to learn, and re-learn. Remember to forget what you learnt 5 years ago. That technology has moved on. For you to remain relevant in this market, view your knowledge as a depreciating asset. Unless you are adding new knowledge and skills continuously, you will be passed by, like last years cell phone model in a retail store.

Go ahead and make the investment in the most valuable asset you own, yourself.

Create your life.

Your own business – Me Inc.

Do you know that each one of us owns our own business? Each of us is a CEO, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, and Technical Manager and more.

The Business is called Me Inc, and the sooner you get to realise that it’s actually the only business you truly own, the easier and more productive your life becomes.

Many of us have been through the corporate world or worked in companies where we are one of many. It’s easy to lose sight of ones dreams and goals, and just live from day to day doing the necessary roles and functions in a job. Many just go on autopilot, sometimes lasting 10 years or more before we even realise that nothing has changed.Career_Opp_Art

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating that one should not work for corporates, or that you should change your job. In fact, quite the opposite, I am saying you should be running your own business within the company you work for, and that business is Me Inc. In any job, you are your company, your product that you sell, and the manufacturer all in one. You are all you’ve got! If you move companies, there you are. If you go out on your own, there you are again. Me Inc. is with you to stay! So make Me Inc. count.

Running Me Inc. has a lot of responsibility. Like any business, you need to look after it. Looking after Me Inc. mean keeping the factory (body) in tip top shape. Feeding yourself energising foods, exercising and keeping your stress in check. You need make sure that your product is continuously reinvented so that there is always demand. To do this make sure that you are keeping your knowledge of your industry up to date. When last did you invest in your skills? Take an online course, or read a book to broaden your knowledge. Keep thinking, what is the market need that I can fulfill. What is my competitive edge?

Once you have looked after these two aspects, then the Marketing and Sales Manager in you can take over. Know your product, and don’t sell yourself short. Where is your market and what areas do you want to expand into? Have a plan and use it. Ensure that Me Inc. is on everyone’s list of must have items.

So next time you think “it’s just a job”, remember that Me Inc is in that job, and ensure that you are doing everything you can to make Me Inc. the best company around. Be the best you can be. It’s never just a job and it’s your company on the line.

Don’t hoot I’m studying!

One of the “luxuries” of living in the country is the drive that I regularly get to do on route to Cape Town. Rather than curse at the 1.5hrs it takes to complete the journey, I have managed to turn it into quality “me” time.  So apart from the occasional singing at the top of my voice, what, you may ask, do I do to fill the time. My answer is audiobooks.  For a few days a week I get to spend a 3-5 hours learning stuff. What a fantastic opportunity to keep the gray stuff in my head from shrinking. So what do audiobooks hold in store? Well, anything and everything really. From novels to non-fiction, business to birding, languages to love, it’s all there for the taking, at a price of course. 111 Traffic Jam

How do you go about it? There are numerous ways to download material. My favorite is a site called www.audible.com . You become a member, take out one of their package offers and away you go. However, you might be happier with Amazon, eMusic or iTunes (some good free stuff here). They all have audiobooks on offer.

The device that you listen to the book on does make a difference to the experience. The iPod or iPhone is a great device to use as it will hold your place for you when you turn it off, and it gives you the ability to take it out of the car and continue anywhere else. The best feature for me though is the ability to learn at double speed.

Did you know that our brain can absorb information far quicker than we can speak. This is the reason that we sometimes get bored during conversations…(*yawn).  Our mind is way ahead of the topic. The clever people at Apple have taken care of this by giving you the option to listen at double speed. It takes a while for you to get used to it, but after about 5 minutes it sounds no different. Normal conversation seems soooo slow.

So if you spend a couple hours in the traffic everyday, why not turn this time into productive learning time. Traffic jams become a thing of the past. You hardly notice them when you are engrossed in a chapter of a good book. My advice, get off the slow road to gray matter deterioration and onto the super fast learning highway, you won’t look back. So go ahead and do it today. Create your life.