Monday, February 10, 2014

Technology adoption, sinking or swimming?

Mr. Meriweather, did you wind the clock? I'm going to use the sextant to take a fix. Aye captain, that I did, but why don't you just take a glance at the GPS. Aargh Mr. Meriweather, I don't trust that new fangled thing. If the sextant was good enough for me father, and grandsire, it be good enough for me. Besides I don't read so good, and them instruction tomes are weighty.

When I talk about technology it's never from the viewpoint that technology is bad thing, because it isn't. What often happens is it gets misapplied. It can be badly designed, poorly implemented, too difficult or complex to support or have too many critical failure points. Poor contemplation of the inevitable failures can leave you crippled in the water, or on a rock. 

I read Charles Doane's blog yesterday about what had to have been a fun Navico press junket. It was held at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys and was attended by a large number of boating writer luminaries including Panbo's Ben Ellison. You can read Ben's take on the event here. In Charles's story though there was a paragraph that stuck with me.

"Navico's CEO, Leif Ottosson, has set a blistering pace re product development, and the company as a whole is now geared up to introduce at least one new product to the market every 20 days. In the not-so-distant future they are confident they can ramp this up to one new product every 15 days. In any other industry this would seem like gratuitous flack-speak, and you'd expect the "new" products to be only slight variations of older ones, but in electronics generally the market really does evolve that quickly. It seems that Navico's real goal is to haul the once somnolent realm of recreational marine electronics that much closer to the larger industry's bleeding edge."

The first was the concept that Navico is planning to bring a new product to market every 20 days. This speaks volumes about the both the possibilities, and the industry's requirement to innovate or perish. The second was his surmise that Navico may be hauling the marine electronics industry into the future, whether they like it or not. I think Charles's thoughts about this were remarkably prescient. I would just add that some of the others are now moving in this direction albeit it at varying rates. Things are a changing, and I think the pace will quickly startle all of us. The sleeping marine electronics bear is slowly waking up.