Monday, June 11, 2012

Disruptive Technologies

I promise this has to do with something somewhat interesting.

Anyways...at the beginning of this term (which, btw, will be over in 3 days!!), we learned in my I SYS 201 (Information Systems) class about disruptive technologies and paradigms. It was actually really fascinating. Basically, a disruptive technology is a new way of doing something that initially goes against what seems to be the needs of the customers, but which actually meets a specific need and in time is improved upon until it actually beats out the old way of doing things. For example, digital photography was originally way inferior to chemical photography, but it met the needs of people who wanted a simple, portable device to take pictures with. Over time, disruptive technologies become the new sustaining technologies. This often occurs along with a paradigm shift - a new set of rules or ways of seeing things. Paradigms are super interesting (I'm a nerd and these are one of those things I sometimes think about while I lie in bed before actually falling asleep...) but are kind of a topic all on their own. So to try to keep things as short as possible, basically many times companies suffer from "paradigm paralysis," and they aren't able to see why the new technologies are worth their time. Many companies that were once huge, well-known, and established companies and now long gone because of their inability to adapt to changing technologies and changing paradigms. Here's the kicker for me: it's not the technology itself that causes the downfall of these companies - it's their inability to change their existing business models to adapt to the new technologies.

Well, all this discussion about disruptive technologies and paradigm shifts made me think of my own life; specifically, about the changes I've experienced that could, in a way, be like my very own "disruptive technologies." For example, some people wonder why I'm even taking I SYS 201 in the first place. Why? Because I, once again, have changed my major. After 2 years of agonizing over a major, I've decided to apply to the BYU accounting program! And this is a prereq. Along with M COM 320 (management communications), which is the class I'm keeping this blog for in the first place. There are a lot of reasons behind this decision, but this post is already wordy enough :). But basically, it made me realize how change isn't a bad thing, just like how disruptive technologies aren't bad. They actually make our lives a whole lot better. But the key is being able to adapt to the changes and not be paralyzed by my own paradigms and inability to change my own "business model." Another thing that got me thinking is this: when companies choose to adapt to new technologies and new paradigms, they are taking a great risk. Like I said, these technologies usually start out quite inferior to the existing ones, and certainly don't usually make business sense. However, those companies that are brave enough and have the foresight and innovation necessary to make these changes are the ones who win in the end. I realized that I need to have the courage to make changes in my life that I feel are important too, no matter if other people tell me if they "make sense" or not. 

Disclaimer: I'm not saying I'm not ever going to make any more decision changes. I still have a lot of life planning to do! And I'm a girl, I'm allowed to change my mind ;) But, I'm happy with my life right now. I've learned so much in the past couple of years, it amazes me! And I'm so grateful to be here at BYU at this time of my life :)

Oh, here's where I tie in my survey - for the M COM 320 blog assignment, I had a few requirements to meet - include links, include pictures, include a video, and include a survey. Well, this is my last required blogpost (don't worry, I'll still keep posting!), so I thought it's about time to include a survey. I asked my facebook friends how many times they'd changed their majors. (I've changed mine officially 3 times...but probably changed it in my head at LEAST a dozen.) Here are the results!:

Number of times major changedNumber of peoplePercentage
01532.61%
11832.13%
2715.22%
3510.87%
400%
More than 412.17%
Total46

Also, am I allowed to brag that I just coded that table using HTML? Just another trick I learned in I SYS ;) Also...I was kinda hoping I'd have some more company in my little poll (as in, I was hoping others had changed their major as much as I have!), but I guess most people have either not changed their major at all or only changed it once. Oh well! Like I said, it's not about what other people think, right? :)

PS I got a haircut! It feels great! So even though that has nothing to do with anything here, this post is kinda boring so I'm going to post a I-got-a-haircut-picture (also it's straightened, which is a very rare occurrence). Actually I found a really fun webcam thing online and got kinda carried away, so I'm just going to be vain for a minute and post four pics. Also don't mind the old high school tshirt...or big pimple...k cool. ciao! te amo!




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