Why is it that we have technology that allows us to have global meetings without ever leaving our home office, yet when we plug a laptop into a projector it never works? We seem to have started to master the technology of having live conversations with people from all over the world through a few cameras, microphones and TV screens. There are now temporary facilities that offer global conferencing for a rental fee, what a brilliant business concept as companies cut down on business travel.
Contrast that to the fact that we have all watched people spend 15-20 minutes trying to get their laptops successfully projecting on a wall and you see the dichotomy of technology. We are constantly innovating and improving on what we have, yet where we invest time and effort depends on the innovators. The issue of plugging a laptop into a projector and making it work has been an issue for years, why has no one fixed this problem? This has led to hundreds of hours of lost productivity while we try and get that image up on the screen.
No one has fixed the problem because there is no additional revenue in fixing the problem. Would you sell more projectors if you sold the perfect connection? Probably not. But you can sell the advantage of holding a meeting with teams from around the world with the ability to save significant travel costs.
Like everything else, innovations in technology focus on where the revenue can be generated, not necessarily where the productivity drains exist. If we could focus more on fixing things to increase productivity and less time on things that are cool, then technology would do a better job of helping companies improve performance.
I guess for now, we will have to stick with cool apps….