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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Why old tech pundits are less accurate at predicting trends than a school kid.

Quite a funny column about Tablet devices:

I see no reason to own a tablet, and fully expect them to fade out of the mainstream over the next few years.

Katherine Noyes, PCWorld: Why Tablets Are Just a Fad

Just as your parents saw no reason to own a PC in their world where everything was already done fine by hand. And their parents saw no reason to own a phone, when almost everyone who mattered lived within walking distance. Katherine, you’re showing your age, much like your parents when they told you your computer was a fad.

The one thing she gets right is that there isn’t a need to own one, but that misses the point entirely, and that is why she is woefully wrong. No one needs a tablet - but get one and by Christ you’ll find a million uses for it. Just like when you got your first PC - that barely glorified calculator. Life would have been just fine carrying on without one, but oh the things you’d have missed, and oh how it’s changed the world. The same situation is playing out here.

Sometimes needs create technologies. Other times technologies foster needs. The tablet device is hardly the first to fall more into the latter category than the former.

But by way of a reminder of what “fad” devices become required - you can pry my fad of a computer out of my dead hands, and if you tried taking my fad of a smart phone I’d beat you with it. The “tablet device” is the next thing to add to the list of devices and technologies that in future will evoke a response of: “What, people didn’t used to have these? How did the world even function?”. It’ll get on that list not because people need it now - but because they’ll want the things it offers tomorrow.


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  1. mike whitfield posted 108 days, 18hrs, 29mins after the entry and said:

    that's very insightful man! smiley icon: smile

    it is indeed tough sometimes to keep up, you have to eliminate any fear you have of losing a grip on technological progression… which also means not holding too fast to any expertise you currently hold as well

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