Fall in love with Innovation, not with Expectations

It looks like the Future as we saw it on movies a couple decades ago is finally getting here.

Yes, there is impressive technology everywhere, new apps being released every day, there are chat bots, prosthetic implants with specific properties, 3D printed casts and replacement ears… A lot of things are controlled from touchscreens, we are pretty much able to talk to anyone in the world in real-time; things are changing quickly and even if some people may feel overwhelmed from so many changes in so short time, it is very important that we are clear on how these changes actually land in our lives.

New technologies give us the chance to:

  • Communicate better, faster, in different languages and even with the opportunity to have simultaneous translation between two persons just by using an app or device. Yes, but this does not mean that you can just build an app for such uses from one day to another, or that the possibility will be usable for everyone in a matter of weeks.
  • Do things easier. Because technology (in theory) is thought to help people reach their objectives in better, more secure and of course, easier ways… or at least by making less unnecessary effort. Indeed, but it is important to understand that technology is a set of tools that need some mental processes to happen, and on the other hand, to make technology happen brands, companies and persons do need to make a lot of planning, research, development, testing, evaluation; all guided by Innovation Methodology. To make things easy, first you need to know how to make them the rough way.
  • Get better results and more cost (or resources) effectively. This point relates to optimization, which is one of the desirable effects of technology, to make much more with much less, and better. Yes, this is also part of the vision but a lot of people, companies and brands oversee that optimization is a iterative process that needs implementation conditions, including people capacitation in a lot of cases, planning, understanding of technology (both hardware and concept), a certain amount of upgrades in specific time, and a lot more elements.

These points do not intend to disappoint or communicate that the actual adoption of innovation is not reachable, but that it is not just something that happens from one day to another, even if we are all super excited about it!

This scheme, that depicts the Hype Cycle in it basic form, showing first that the appearance of technologies usually lead to a moment on inflated expectations. Frequently these expectations have to do with the fact that people think that technology adoption and mainstream usage can be so easy and down to Earth. Of course, that when technology is presented as media breakthroughs it is showcased as in what it can do and how easy it may be to use it. Difficult and useless is never attractive, right?

Now, in this second scheme it is showed the same Hype Cycle but with what the emerging technologies were for 2016. As it can be clearly seen, a lot of things appeared as Technology Triggers, but most of them will not be in mainstream adoption anytime soon because as said before some functional elements need to be available first, such as: training, hardware support, service support, affordable tech costs, usage understanding, that people stop using current technologies for themselves… and a lot more. The Planning for Implementation, including prototypes, stakeholder analysis, implementation design, adoption cycle, and even marketing strategies are part of the needs for Innovation to actually become usable, and it is also part of what #CreativeProblemSolving does to bridge Innovation with users.