tech changes

Here is an example of how technology changes consumers and producers.

Back in the day, TV shows were written so that you’d still understand what was going on no matter when you tuned in. If you missed an episode, you missed an episode. One way to help viewers was to have a steady cast that appears in every single episode.

Nowadays, people (binge) watch TV shows. On-demand, whenever it’s convenient. For instance, the Netflix remake of “House of Cards” has characters disappearing, only to make their return eight episodes later. This principle allows for a new layer of complexity. Complexity that challenges the writers even more in their creative processes.

Safe to say, streaming technology altered viewers’ behaviors. This behavior change, in turn, influences producers’ behaviors, only to further alter viewers’ behaviors.

Imagine for a second how technology has influenced employees’ behavior. Hybrid working is here to stay. How does that influence employers? What are some of the principles they should embrace to further engage with their employees?

super sonic darwin

Just fifteen years ago, the iPhone was first launched, faced with ridicule by other moguls, saying that people would never accept a phone without buttons. Today, entire business models and ecosystems are built around iPhones, or any smartphone for that matter.

We evolve quickly. People have started noticing their hands changing. Their pinky fingers now have “dents” to support their devices. Darwin’s finches took two million years. We only took fifteen.

HR is hard. Today’s people insights are obsolete tomorrow. Never stop learning and become skeptical of innovation.

more human

Supermarkets, restaurants, and many other types of businesses invest in employing fewer people in an attempt to optimize their business.

Supermarkets have quick scan checkout systems. Restaurants have QR menus enabling customers to order straight from their mobile. Reducing the waiters to transporting food between the kitchen and the table.

While it makes much sense from the business point of view to optimize, unfortunately, today’s approach is often to replace (costly) humans. Or increase capacity through technology. Resulting in a generic, less personal approach. The days of pleasant chitchat with the friendly cashier who asks about the family are long gone. Obviously, in a large urban context, it’s nearly impossible to maintain. But this isn’t an all-or-nothing issue.

The goal of implementing technology shouldn’t be to replace humans altogether. It should be to clear time so humans can create genuine added value through a customer-centric approach.


“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.” That’s what Bill Gates allegedly said.

Looking at technology, the time between invention and commercial success often spans numerous decades. Revolutions, invoked by television, telephone, the internet… took twenty to thirty years to catch on.

The above quote wasn’t quite finished. Bill Gates went on by saying, “don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

There is time. Embrace new technology calmly and craft a strategy around it to execute meticulously.