In this NYT piece called "The Risk of Innovation: Will Anyone Embrace It?", G. Pascal Zachary deals with interesting issues regarding innovation. Some excerpts:
"Even today, when adding video to a phone is a trivial cost, consumers may rebel. Video-conferencing often remains an activity forced on people by their employers. Resistance to technology is an omnipresent risk for every innovator. Even a device as fabulously freeing as the personal computer struck some people as an abomination (...) Adaptable humans usually trade one technology for another, rather than reject any and all. To be accepted, innovations must deliver benefits — enough benefits to make change worthwhile. (...) FOR technological innovators, the cash register can ring either way. They may achieve a smash-hit breakthrough, or simply make a slight improvement in a technology that humans already feel comfortable with. Most innovators no longer even try to predict human reactions to their creations. Henry Kressel, a partner at Warburg Pincus and a co-author of “Competing for the Future: How Digital Innovations Are Changing the World,” says, “You throw technologies into the market and see what sticks.” The hope is that passionate “early adopters” will blaze a path toward mass acceptance of a new technology. Yet the truth is that no one can tell in advance which innovations people will adapt to and which will become the next example of the Picturephone."
Why do I blog this? some general-and-controversial thoughts about tech/usage foresight.