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Tech is the means, not the end goal.

I chat to people about tech a lot and they are either scared of it, its implications and ramifications or so obsessed to be the next great tech unicorn that they don't stop and consider its applications.

tech is the means, not the end goal.

I got “Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital” by Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander in my goodie bag from Virgin Disruptors back in October last year when I attended the event as a guest. The main takeaway is that all we really want is to “make a meaningful and enduring contribution” in this world.


Being in the business of discussing the use of technology, the attitude you have makes all the difference. Let’s be clear from the get-go: Technology is not the end goal. It was never the end goal and treating it as such will lead to failure. Technology is a tool to empower people. Yes, the humanoids are still the ones that matter in the mix. You cannot and should not forget it’s all about people and the effect you have/what you do has on them.

I don’t care what you are producing (be it product or service), you should be asking yourself: is this making life easier/better for people and the world at large?

Digital transformation is hard. It’s damn hard, in fact. People approach it with caution, even fear, especially when it comes to business. But digital is the means, it is not the end goal.

“Digital is the means, it is not the end goal.”

“At the far side of an app, a Tweet, a digital anything, there’s a person”. How are you improving life at work for that person? Be honest — with yourself and with the people you interact with.

Nothing in life that’s truly meaningful comes easy. Making life easier for others will more than likely mean that you’re making life complicated for yourself. And that’s cool, as long as you use your creativity and imagination to come up with something of real value.

Work for VOI (value on investment), not ROI. The return will come. Evolving towards something better is one of our highest needs as humans on that pyramid Maslow gave us. And technology can free us and let us do better.

Nowhere is that more empowering than in our working lives. Mind numbing tasks, constant fire-fighting issues and redundant processes can dull even the sharpest minds and lull them into a state of mediocrity. Fulfilment dwindles, thriving becomes impossible.

The guys at Nike for instance, under Stefan Olander’s leadership as VP of Digital Sport, ask themselves these 5 questions about every single product:

1. Does it help athletes (people) get better?

2. Does it have the potential of reaching a million new people?

3. Can it be explained in two sentences or less?

4. Would we use it ourselves?

5. Is it simple, human and indispensable?

As a tech company shareholder, my aim is to make life easier for people at work. Empower them to creatively apply their skills and make a difference in turn.

Technology is not the the most powerful force in the universe. The most powerful force at play at any given time is imagination. Imagining a better way, an easier way, a new way and using technology to achieve it.

Tech can set you free, the rest it’s up to you.

Originally published at medium.com

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