Is Tech The New Music?

A tech career is more glamorous than a music career these days … or so say the technology gurus selling this story to mainstream and alternate media.  But is it really an accurate representation, and will the glamor (if there is any) last?

Over the last two decades — and especially in the past decade when mp3s, P2P, and torrents have made copyright infringement almost every criminal’s guilty pleasure — the glamor of being a recording artist has been sucked out of the business on nearly every level.  From the dearth of originality to the overuse of Melodyne and Autotune on singers with marginal talent and sexualized assets, music is so much less than what has been in the past.

How do we know this?  Because recent scientific studies have proven that music has been homogenized to such a degree that all new music sounds just like the new music that was just released.  Nothing stands out because everything is reduced to identicalities, not just similarities.

But technology is where it’s at these days.  Techies and developers are center stage, and anyone worth their salt on high school, college, and university campuses know the names of the big players along with the up-and-coming entrepreneurs poised to take over.  But more than just being big guns in the tech world, these techies and developers influence nearly every other aspect of life for their generation.

What’s more, most of them have adopted and adapted a carefree persona that leans more heavily towards “whatever” than zen.

The thing with technology these days is that anyone can become wealthy beyond their wildest expectations if they can just come up with the right app.  Is that wrong?  No.  Does it send the wrong message?  In some cases it does.  Is it great business skills?  Not usually.

What it is, is the ability for someone to see a need, and fill a need successfully.

Still, do people really need an app like SimStapler (an app that keeps score of the number of staples you have used by tapping a virtual stapler) or Hair Clinic (an app that claims  to regenerate hair follicles thanks to its ability to send special frequenceis that will spur hair growth)?  And as popular as Kim Kardashian may be at the moment, an iPhone app that looks a bit like Kim Kardashian who strikes signature poses and blows virtual kisses to the user isn’t an app that will do much for the average person.

My point in writing all this is to point out that when a business model doesn’t keep up with the times, it falls out of favor with the general public.  And just because a business model is a hot commodity today, it doesn’t mean it will always be a hot commodity.  The needs and demands of the customer are always evolving, and at some point in the future, the tech industry could find itself suffering from the same ailments that are plaguing the music industry these days.

What’s more, it’s something that could happen to any industry, not just the tech and music industries.

Complacency has no place in the business world.  Keep an eye on the current and upcoming trends, but don’t set your clock or build your business plan solely around those trends.  Be aware that innovators are always more celebrated than great imitators.

Elyse Bruce

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