Every year brings with it its own surprises. 2006 was no different. Who could have foreseen at the start of the year that Google would buy YouTube for $1.6 billion? Or that it would be Nintendo’s Wii that would become the hottest gaming console? Or that the battle for Hutch’s India operations would attract an amazing variety of bidders from across the world? The march of technology is inexorable. At times, the daily involvement into news and what’s happening can take away from the wider perspective of what’s happening.
At times like these, it is nice to sit back and think a little on what all these changes mean. Some are more important than the others, even as some are more fleeting that others. One needs to separate fads from trends. We can see that with the Web 2.0 sites being launched. Many are just flavours-of-the-day. It is the rare site that will breakout from the pack. There are many factors, including luck, which are needed to make something succeed.
In India, looking beyond technology, real estate and retail have become red-hot sectors. All one has to do is to walk up to the nearest mall and see the change in consumer habits. Even the experience at India’s flagship airports is changing. As a friend who arrived recently put it, I was greeted with a ‘Welcome to India’ by the security person. This has never happened before! India is changing at least some elements.
The Times of India is running a campaign entitled India Poised. It talks about two Indias. This schism is visible all around. Unfortunately, it is being perpetuated by India’s politics also. Even as some states realise that development is the only choice, a few laggards still think that caste-based divisions can be exploited to retain power. Hopefully, this will change sooner rather than later.
I recently came across an interesting book recently. Games Indians Play by N. Raghunathan seeks to explain Why are we a nation that is individually so smart and collectively so naive? Why do we mistake talk for action? Why is our self-worth massaged only if we have the authority to break rules? Why are we among the worlds most corrupt? Why do we jump red lights? Why do we dump our garbage at the neighbours doorstep? . . . Can it be our climate, population density, poverty, colonial past or even genetic encoding? Food for thought, as we look ahead to yet another year.
Next week, we will look at key tech trends internationally and in India.
Next Week: 2007 Tech Trends (continued)
TECH TALK 2007 Tech Trends+T