Have you read Daniel Burrus’ book "Flash Foresight"? It is a fantastic study of the concept of radical, world-changing ideas. Burrus doesn’t just list the ideas or new gadgets; he helps us understand the thought processes of these innovators and to think about life in a different way. His newsletter is equally motivating as his books.
There is a lot of gloom in the news, and when a new gadget promises to make our lives better, it’s a quick transition for some folks to feel that everything will be OK because of their new toys. No matter how bad we think the economy is, people still wait in line to buy new gadgets. There must be something to this.
Much has been written about how quickly we’ve moved into the digital age. Fax machines, which only came out in the 1980s for general use, are nearly obsolete. No matter how quickly the machines change, you will notice how difficult it is for some people to adopt that technology. There are few people in the U.S. who would buy a smartphone but are still worried about food or shelter, the basics in Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Maybe we have already self-actualized with our iPhone 2.0 and just don’t feel the 5.0 will make enough difference to have to adapt to it.
We have a tendency to think the younger generation is quicker to adapt. Ask an 18-year-old about Facebook. Many use Google+ or something different, because they want their own methods. "Facebook is for my mom," one Gen Z said to me. So are they really quicker to adapt to new technology, or are they just making up new things because they want their own version? Are they really changing, or will they also resist moving away to a new platform too, when they get a bit more gray hair on their heads?