Fifteen Years Post B-school… the Hastening Pace of Technology Changes

Last June marked the fifteenth year since I graduated from b-school at the Carlson School of Management.  Over the summer I had been asked by the school to do an interview and answer a few questions looking back on my experience.  I had recently published a blog post on “Three Things I Learned in B-school” that focused on the lessons that had followed me throughout my career but as I prepared for this interview I was thinking more about how much had changed in the world since I had graduate.  I was quickly blown away with my quick list of changes that I had written down: medical discoveries, the Internet explosion, software development, redefining business and leadership theories, and the advances in telecommunications to name just a few.

The adoption of cell phones and now smartphones in the last 15 years has been staggering. According to the CTIA (article here), a wireless industry trade group, in June 1997 there were 48.7m cell phone subscribers in the US or 18.3% of the population. By June 2012, there were 321.7m subscribers in the US or 101% of the population. That means that there are more cell phones in the US then there are men, women, and children combined.  Since most children don’t have cell phones (yet) there are tens of millions of adults who have more than one cell phone.  Just think of how the cell phone has changed how we communicate with family, friends, and colleagues.

I tried to capture some of these changes during my interview as I briefly discussed how remote computing technology has drastically changed the definition of when and where we work, the necessity to stay curious through the hastening pace of technology changes, and importance of recognizing that through all of this innovation organizations are going to fail and that failure is an important part of the process.

Here is a link to the full article (Matt Hunt – The Changing Landscape of Technology) with the interview below.

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