Your Tech Is Not Your Product — Peter Ettinger


Peter Ettinger has faced many innovative downfalls and setbacks throughout his career as an entrepreneur. He taught us how he took that failure and turned it into his greatest advantages.

Simply put, he began with advice to live out daily such as surrounding ourselves with people, “smart people” to be exact. More specifically people with other talents such skills in marketing, numbers, business, programmers etc. in order to get a well-rounded sense of capability. Throughout his introduction of the Innovation Trinity involving three vital questions, according to him, all entrepreneurs should ask themselves such as “why now?”, “who cares?”, and “who will pay?”.

These are questions that contemporary artist asks themselves not only in order to make a living but also in using art as a tool to fight for political freedom and rights. We are currently in a very uneasy political state where the President’s decision-making isn’t always the most humane or moral. As an animator, it would be wise to take into consideration these three questions in my creations as many issues in America are hitting very close to home, metaphorically speaking.

Ettinger dove into the idea of a change in our perspective to the perspective of the consumer in order to get a better understanding of what the people want and/or pay for. A great point made throughout his presentation is one that consumers are not interested in the highest technology available. The purpose of technology is to solve, in more efficient methods, issues better than whatever came before. The entrepreneurial mindset should build upon an issue and then solve that issue with an idea. This can benefit me as an artist when looking toward my audience in terms of who is my target audience, what do they want, and how can I do that?

The average consumers prefer simplicity to complication. An interesting example that Ettinger gave was the invention of the iPod. He urged us methods Apple used to sell these music boxes. It’s not about explaining to the consumer the technological advances that are on the iPod, the amount of ram, CPU capabilities etc. What made them sell so much was based on the simplistic idea of “5000 songs in your pocket.” In the same way, whether animator, graphic designer or any other class of artist, simplicity can be just as effective as the complex.

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