Where would we be without the innovations that have gradually and progressively evolved into the modern-day technological advancements we now enjoy?
While, at the time, many people considered each breakthrough unthinkable (in the unimaginable sense of the word), gradually these advancements evolved and became so widespread that they became unthinkable (in the commonplace sense of the word). With each breakthrough, social and interactive along with other types of shifts also occurred.
How we go about finding the root meaning of the words “stagnant” or “evolve” today versus how we would have done so twenty years ago or even hundreds of years ago, demonstrates how things have dramatically changed.
Before Gutenberg’s Moveable Type around 1450, we would not have had access to words in print the way the moveable type made possible. To find out what the word “evolve” meant, we would have probably had to ask someone else who may or may not have known how to best state it. Hopefully, someone we knew would have told us that “stagnant” means to stay the same, slow-moving, sluggish or declining and “evolve” means to progress, advance or transform.
With the advancement of moveable type, multiple copies of text could be created and distributed to many more people than were able to read the handwritten books and materials that were limited in number and availability. After moveable type, ideas progressively became more accessible through the printed word in newspapers and books—including the dictionary where we could then look up the meaning scholars had previously discussed and debated and decided to put into print.
Not only were ideas beginning to advance, but so were people. With the advent of automobiles, trains and airplanes, it became easier to ship goods and send out people around the world progressively faster, cheaper and safer. The exchange of ideas and new experiences opened up new worlds to those who were privy to travel and returned to share what they learned.
When it may have seemed that modern technologies had almost evolved to their pinnacle, the landmark technology of The Internet (circa 1990’s) marked a new domain that soon exploded into multiple domains across the world, allowing people to communicate and interact via the digital typed word and now through audio/video faster than ever before imagined! Yesterday’s fast seems slow to us today as we move towards new and improved versions of technologies that become faster, cheaper and better.
The internet (and all the interrelated technologies connected to it in this era) has opened up a whole new world like never before in regard to accessibility and reach. Some of the latest technologies and amazing innovation are increasingly being combined in powerful ways that enable people to enjoy the benefits of multiple ways of connecting with ideas and with others, including: cell phones, text messaging, Twitter and other social networking platforms, blogging, internet sites and strategies that enable you to effectively market your business and allow you to gain information, knowledge and wisdom and all within minutes or seconds.
While some people may be hesitant to utilize the full force of the internet, others are continually upgrading their technology and technological know-how to maximize their businesses. Those who choose to be stagnant are being and will be surpassed by the many advantages offered by those who choose to evolve along with technology, which offers increasingly improved speed, interactive capabilities, spreading of ideas, more focused searches, exploring new buyers and opening new markets and opportunities globally.
There are people today who still see technology as being somewhere on a spectrum between a necessary evil they tolerate to a complex world they fear. What’s important is how do you see it, think about it, use it and most importantly, how you leverage it. The option is up to you to decide how to reach your customers who are increasingly seeking the best of minds to help their businesses. Are you constantly evolving yourself and positioning yourself as a world-class thought leader who delivers great content, products and services to your customers?
Many times I enjoy reading a hard copy book while other times, I enjoy listening to books on my iPhone or even reading them on this great technology. I love reading the Wall Street Journal print edition yet at times I enjoy reading it online. There are always choices in our lives for us to make, but remaining stagnant in business or stagnant with your web presence is unimaginably unthinkable.
© Chad Barr 2009. All rights reserved.
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