Do Not Be Seduced by the Shiny and New!

Paul Boag

It is very easy to be seduced by new technologies. However, we should focus on addressing the fundamentals first.


So in today’s video, I want to share with you some completely hypocritical advice. I want to share with you a piece of advice that I regularly ignore in my personal life.

I’m one of those people that is always seduced by the new and shiny, the latest gadget, the latest gizmo. I love all of that stuff, but in my professional life, I avoid it. I avoid the new and shiny.

It’s so easy to be seduced by that kind of stuff, isn’t it? I encounter that all the time when talking to clients.

In just the last couple of weeks, I’ve had clients insisting that virtual reality is something that they should be investing heavily in. Yesterday I had a client asking me about A.I. and machine learning and that kind of stuff.

Now I’m not saying that these things have no value. Absolutely, of course they do. But we often get our priorities wrong. We get obsessed and excited by these new shiny technologies and the potential that they have. So we end up, kind of chasing after those things when we should be making sure the fundamentals are in place.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The fact that there’s no point of worrying about self-actualisation if you haven’t got enough food in your belly. Right. We have basic needs that need to be met first before we move on to worry about higher needs, and the same is true with our digital strategy.

If we don’t have the fundamentals in place there is no point of worrying about VR, AR, AI, machine learning, Bitcoin or whatever the new thing is. So, first of all, we need all web sites to be accessible.

If people cannot access our content, if they can’t get the information that we’re providing then really we’re wasting our time.

Then it has to be relevant. Right. Are we answering the right questions? Are we providing what our audience actually needs?

Then it needs to be usable; can they actually find that relevant content on your mobile app, your website, social media, whatever else?

Only then do we need to start worrying about whether it’s persuasive, whether it’s personal, whether it’s using the latest technology.

Part of the problem is that we approach technology from the wrong point of view.

So something like, I dunno, VR, for example, comes along, and we start saying to ourselves; how could we use that? What benefits would that piece of technology have? Oooo we could do this spangly thing or this shiny thing!

Instead, we should be starting with the problem first. Right. So we’ve got a problem communicating and showing a particular product, and we can’t give them a good sense of the product. OK. That might be the problem, in which case VR might be an appropriate solution to that problem.

Do you see the difference? One way you’re starting with that technology and you’re wondering what you could do with it, and so you almost end up creating situations to use it. The other one begins with the problem and looks for a technology that can solve that problem.

So although it’s great to buy the latest gadget and gizmo in your personal life, although we should always be curious about the new and stuff coming along, we shouldn’t be adopting it just for the sake of it.

Instead, always begin with the problem and then look to new technology as a potential solution.

Photo by Rawisara Prachaksubhanit on Unsplash