Using Technology and Human Skills to Create Wealth
The rise of technology
The word technology was once synonymous with “science fiction”. It is also important to make it clear from the outset that technology includes the hardware (machinery, tools, equipments, etc) as well as the software (computer programs, applications, etc.). Most people related technology in the mid to late 20th century to the race in technological advancement between the super powers in the cold war era, in terms of space travel and dominance. Technology in those days was only available to the rich and powerful, the government and corporate giants. Nowadays, that race between the super powers has resulted in the technological boom in today’s world and the rapid domestication of technology.
Technology is a result of innovation. Innovative people create ideas and execute these ideas to better living standards. Innovators constantly look for ways to improve the way or ways in which we do things. They strive to create new ways of achieving the same result, or even a better and more improved result. Communication is an example of human interaction which has benefited due to the increase in technology through innovation. The days of sending personal mails through post offices have been done away with by the introduction of emails and mobile/cell phones. Emails and mobile/cell phones are examples of innovation. Producing the same result but through a more faster and efficient means.
The question now is, with all the readily available domesticated technologies; how are we able to fully utilize them to create wealth for ourselves?
Domestication of technology
The Domestication theory is an approach in the Science and technology studiesand Media studiesthat describes the processes by which innovations; especially new technology is ‘tamed’ or utilized by its users (Silverstone et al. 1992). The processes come in three stages as follows:
1. technologies are integrated into everyday life and adapted to daily practices.
2. the user and its environment change and adapt accordingly.
3. these adaptations feedback into innovation processes in industry, shaping the next generation of technologies and services.
The Domestication theory is no longer a theory and has been given practical application now more than ever. Globalization and the high level of competitiveness within the corporate world have pushed the use of technology to a phenomenal level within the last 30 to 40 years. The reason is simple and it is consistent with the Domestication theory. Corporate giants, in their move to maximize on profit and marginalize on costs have invested heavily on technology, in particular, Information Technology and Communications. Technologies have been integrated into companies’ daily practices; the employees and the work environment change and adapt accordingly to these technologies; and over a period of time these technologies are improved and the cycle repeat itself. An example is the mode of writing. Documents have evolved from being hand written to being typed on type writers, to being typed on laptops and other portable devises anywhere and anytime.
Utilization of technology
More and more companies and individuals have become or strive to be more innovative. This is because the days of having mere skills or talent have long gone. To survive in this ever changing and competitive world one needs to keep abreast with and adapt to the changes around it. A certain way of doing something might not be that way anymore because a new and faster way of doing that has been invented. So Companies and individuals need to acquire and adapt to using this new technique which have come by way of innovation and technology.
The key to making wealth from the use of technology and skills is to be innovative. To think out of the box and find new ways of achieving the desired result. Time is money in today’s world so one must deliver services faster and more efficiently. This allows one to have a competitive advantage over one’s competitors. One must always be able to adapt to the changes in today’s world and these changes come by way of technologies. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc, are new technologies that are available. Being innovative allows you to fully utilize these technologies to your advantage.
We have sets of skills, knowledge, and talent but to fully realize our potential and create wealth we need to utilize tools such as the technologies available. Companies who invest in technologies, whether hardware or software, do it to maximize profit or create wealth. They employ people who are innovative so that it allows the organization to evolve. Employing people who are not innovative means that there won’t be room for new ideas and new ways of doing things. Allowing innovation would also mean changing the organizational culture of a company. Innovation comes with age and so when there are people who are of another era and are set in their old ways of doing things it hinders new and upcoming innovative people and ideas. But this is a matter for discussion at another time.
At an individual level, innovation also allows you to create wealth through technology. It is how you as an individual are able to think out of the box. You may have good writing skills. You may have very good marketing skills. You may have very good sawing skills. It’s how you use what is available to you at the present time to create wealth from the skills you have. For instance, with a laptop and an internet modem you are able to connect onto the internet and find Social Medias such as facebook, twitter, and ebay, etc, to do free publicizing/marketing of the skills you have to people who may want to engage you.
Technology has come a long way and continues to change this world every day. As the Chinese proverb says, “Do not stand still in a rushing stream”, those who do not adapt to change and utilize it are left behind. Those who are receptive to and appreciate change advance and prosper in life. Likewise, technologies have now been domesticated and are readily available; it is how we use them to create wealth. People who are able to use technology to create new and efficient way of doing things or produce results at a faster and more cost efficient ways are innovative. Anyone can be innovative. It only needs one to have a beginners mind. Even late Steve Jobs of Apple highlighted in his address speech at Stanford University that the key to his success was innovation.