Old tech is sexy too

My clients often find it odd when I don’t recommend the latest, greatest tech. I even had one person tell me “I thought we hired you to tell us how to implement Web 2.0?” I’d try to explain my reasons why I suggest the right solution, which isn’t always the most geeky solution, but Jon did a much better job!

The web is clearly evolving, and when I’m thinking like a futurist, I can go on about virtual worlds, ambient intelligence, ubiquitous computing, digital lifestyle aggregation, 3space, Identity 2.0, accelerated web application development and issues of software as a service, specialized devices, increased mobility, evolution of presence, etc. There’s a lot to think about, and we’re thinking about it every day.

But not every minute.

In fact, when thinking as a strategist and consultant, especially for organizations that might have monetary or other constraints, I’m far more conservative. I focus on technologies that are well-established, usable, and unlikely to go away (though they may be changing somewhat). Email is a good example: lately I’m hearing that email is considered old school by SMSing young ‘uns, and the implication is that email will in fact go away. I chuckle (or groan) at this fantasy as I try to key text messages longer than a sentence. Yes, SMS is useful, but it’s not ideal transport for long-form messaging; to replace email, SMS will have to become so much like email that you won’t know the difference.