When it comes to the widespread adoption of nascent technologies, I often obsess over “what if” scenarios. Examples?
- What if QR codes were simply used for its initial purpose of checking inventory?
- What if Matti Makkonen never had that pizza in Copenhagen where he outlined an alerting system to ride over GSM networks called Short Message Services?
- What if gaming industry vanguards like Jeffrey Dickstein, Jay Coen and Chip Blundell decided to adhere to the status quo and continue to license from brands for in-game integrations of their respective logos and products verses creating the in-game advertising paradigm?
- What if Noah Glass told Jack Dorsey he thought 140 characters was a waste of time?
Wikipedia defines the butterfly effect as the “sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinearsystem can result in large differences to a later state”.
Above all innovation that we’ve experienced over the last 10 years, I look to digital conversation as the truest catalyst for change. In it I see innocuous, yet powerful dialogue that at any point can spark the “large differences” we now expect from small change. The challenge? There is no true linear model that provides the blueprint for change. It is truly, a randomized process.
- A tweet that documents the bloodshed of a peaceful protest in Cairo turns into a full on revolution, powerful enough to overthrow a government regime.
- An artist who turns the slums of Rio into a portrait that highlights those living in them and subsequently a TED talk that captivates the world
- A down on his luck homeless man whose struggles with drugs and alcohol cost him a career who agrees to allow a random driver to videotape his talents from a highway median