Rethinking Thinking

Who’s the bigger deal, the guy who creates some new technology or the guy who figures out how to make it useful?  I’m wondering if we get too wrapped up in the “next gen” and don’t take the time, or put in the effort, to use what we have.

Some examples:

Have you ever seen a McFlurry being made at McDonalds and a Blizzard being made at DQ?  Who has the better process? McDonalds, hands-down.  There process leaves nothing in the store to clean up. Soft serve goes in a cup, m&ms are added, the plastic spoon goes in, and the spoon is temporary powered by the machine on the wall, making it the mixing paddle.  The DQ process leaves a part of the machine which needs to be cleaned.  So what did McDonalds invent?  Nothing.  It’s a motor and a spoon.  All they did was figure out that together they solved a problem.  Brilliant, really.

In The World Is Flat Thomas L. Friedman talks about services being exported to India.  Not simply manufacturing jobs or phone support, but things that could have never been exported before certain technology existed.  For example, at some point someone decided there was no sense in having a radiologist in New York reading X-rays at 3AM when it’s the middle of the day (or whatever) in India.  The Internet makes this possible.  Nothing else needed to be invented.

Along the same lines, someone at a big radio station network realized they don’t need local DJs anymore.  All they have to do is have one DJ at their HQ to put together a play list, mix in some commercials, and upload them to stations around the world.  No new tech, just new applications.

My point is I’m trying to think of new ways to use what we have instead of just wondering what’s next.  More on this later.

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