I was recently reading a Mashable article and had a brief “Back to the Future Part II” flashback (a flashback about time travel to the future, ironic). Marty McFly was in 2015, where cars were flying. Well, we haven’t gotten there just yet, but 2015 is only four plus years away.
But for now, Google is testing technology that will drive our cars for us. They claim it will halve the number of accidents, even potentially reduce fuel consumption. Who doesn’t want to pay half as much for car repairs, insurance premiums or gas? Fantastic.
During such an exciting time for technology, some industries are changing literally overnight. How will new technology affect the brands that we know and use today? Will gas companies cease to exist with new advancements in alternative energy options? Will cable companies fall to new solutions like Google TV? Will musicians cease to play ‘real’ instruments and start playing their iPhones, like this band?
Being in such a state of flux (capacitor) makes working with online customer communities right now an everyday adventure. It is amazing to hear members’ reactions and thoughts around new technology, how it will affect their lives and then how they will help shape new innovation.
It’s the companies that decide not to listen to their customers as part of the innovation process that will cease to exist. And let’s face it, there’s no DeLorean time machine to help us travel back in time. Yet.