The technology debate is usually the wrong debate

Windows vs Mac vs Linux. Android vs iPhone. Nikon vs Canon vs Sony.

Spend any time online, with techie friends or with photographers and you’ll run undoubtedly come across arguments about which tech is better. You’ll have people calling others ‘fan boys/girls’ and in some areas you’ll see some downright nasty comments about whichever tech someone doesn’t agree with. You’ll see people commenting that Android (or iPhone) sucks, Linux (or Mac or Windows) is superior and Nikon (or Canon or Sony) is the only camera a ‘real’ photographer uses.

The problem with these types of debates is that they are generally not grounded in real-world experience. For example, the guy that adamantly argues that Nikon completely destroys Canon cameras in every area of competition has never shot anything other than a Nikon. His arguments are based on reading ‘tech specs’, blogs and forum posts about how much better Nikon is than Canon. Sure, there are valid ‘technical’ reasons for stating that one technology is better than another (e.g., the Nikon D810 DSLR has one of the highest DxOMark ratings ever at 97, versus the 81 given to the Canon 5D Mark III), but technical data isn’t the only way to measure technology.

In my experiences, how a person (or company) USES technology is more important than what technology they use. Take the Nikon vs Canon debate…fan-boys will throw the great results of the Nikon cameras into the faces of Canon users at every chance they get, but their argument becomes worthless when a photographer uses a camera that is about 8 years old to take a photo that wins the World Press Photo of the Year for 2015. Debating the technical merits of a technology is meaningless if you aren’t willing to step forward and actually use that technology (or any other technology) to deliver real-world results for yourself or your company.

The Android vs iPhone debate is another good example. You could spend days reading all the reviews, blogs and forum posts about how Android is better than iPhone (or vice versa). You could talk to endless friends and colleagues about which phone is ‘best’ but until you make the decision to buy one and start using it, you’ll never know how it will work for you. Honestly, 95% of users will find both the Android and iPhone to be comparable and never really need to know the difference in the two platforms/ecosystems…the phone will just work for them and they’ll be perfectly happy.

The same is true for 95% of businesses that choose one platform over another. As long as you’ve done your due diligence and ensured the platform that you’ve chosen will meet your needs, you’ll most likely be happy with whatever technology you choose. The technology debate is usually the wrong debate to have. The right debate to have is to focus on how you will use whatever technology you have (or might acquire) to deliver something of value to yourself, your family or your company. You can have the best technology in the world and still deliver terrible results or you can have technology that is one, two or even three generates behind the ‘modern’ tech and deliver award winning results.


Originally published at ericbrown.com on February 22, 2016.