The Wall Street Journal reported today that the “Next iPhone to Slim Down.” Great, because I find holding ultra-thin metal edges and pressing on hard glass to be so comfortable. It must be my flat, leathery fingertips. Heck, I’m still brave enough to hold the edges of my iPhone barehanded.
I’ve done some calculations (really!) and at this rate of improvement the iPhone will have the same thickness as a Schick razor blade by 2029. Yes, this means you’ll be able to shave with the iPhone 22. After this the only possible improvement is the Dual-blade iPhone 23, Triple-blade iPhone 24 with Aloe and Vitamin E Moisturizing Strip, etc. Just as Apple has upended the cellphone industry and the music industry, the home shaving products industry is squarely in its sights.
Is that the future of technology: just making devices 5% thinner each year? So hip, rich millennials will have something sleeker to click on in their pristine, glass-and-steel modern offices? Will everyone just be consuming content rather than creating it (in which case thinness does not offer advantages)?
To find the answer to these questions, you’ll want to attend my presentation “Analyzing “Future of Productivity” Videos: 20ish, Happy, Flat Fingers” at our upcoming Catalyst Conference in San Diego.
Cleraly, coolness and productivity will diverge at some point. Information workers are staying productive for longer into their 60s, 70s, and beyond; the emerging world hosts massive numbers of workers ready to be productive if you can engage them without requiring distribution of millions of expensive, fragile devices; the amount of noise and information clutter is crowding out worker’s ability to notice important information. Ever-thinner screens may play prominently in everyone’s future vision, but they will do nothing to address the real trends that will shape the productivity landscape. Please join me in San Diego to discuss these trends – and have a bit of fun at the end of an information-packed conference too!
See you there!
Analyzing “Future of Productivity” Videos: 20ish, Happy, Flat Fingers
Thursday, August 23, 2012 (Day 4)
Vendors and research labs love to produce slick videos imagining their productivity vision for future information workers. Individually they provide interesting ideas. But what patterns emerge if one looks across several “information worker of the future” videos with a critical (and slightly sardonic) eye?
- What do they say about the current state of productivity?
- What are the hidden assumptions?
- Where do they agree and disagree? What do they all overlook?
- What should organizations do today to advance towards the future of productivity?