The term “disruptive,” when applied to business in general and technology in particular, has become something of a buzzword since its original coinage by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christiansen in the 1990s. Companies in all industries now claim to provide “disruptive” technologies or apply “disruptive” business models or processes.
It’s a strange irony: The more we try to make technology simpler, easier, more intuitive, and more convenient for end users, the more complex it becomes.
Consider the personal computer. The earliest PCs were simple by modern standards, with straightforward hardware architecture and minimally functional operating systems. But the user interfaces (C:\> prompt, anyone?) were opaque to anyone who wasn’t a computer engineer or hobbyist.
At the end of 2017, speculators had run the value of a single Bitcoin to over $18,000—a far cry from the pennies that Bitcoins were trading for just a few years ago. But then the Bitcoin price fell back, almost as fast as it had risen, and at this writing has been trading in the $5,000–$10,000 range for several months. The buzz about cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular has faded in tandem with Bitcoin’s trading price.
From the “Be Careful What You Wish For” Department
Can it really have been only a year or so ago that commentators, both in this blog and the mobile development community at large, were complaining about how hard it was to write cross-platform mobile apps, and wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way—any way!—to generate fully native apps for each mobile operating system from a single code base?
You have to be a little bit crazy to be a C-level IT leader.
The CIO or CTO position is a thankless one at best. The only time you’re noticed is when things go wrong. And whether it’s infrastructure, security, or business systems, there are lots of things that can go wrong.
Ever since philosopher and mathematician René Descartes first set quill to paper to draw a line on his newfangled “Cartesian plane” in the 17th century, people have sought ever-cleverer ways to represent data in a pictorial format. The reasons are obvious: A graph, chart, gauge, or map can, at a glance, show important features and trends of a data set that you might miss by poring over tables of numbers. It’s the reason why Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is still considered the bible of data visualization almost 40 years after its first release, and why firms large and small are demanding software “dashboards” showing the real-time health of their businesses.