In working over 20 years in the tech industry and acting as the founder and CEO of a robotics company (that integrates both innovative technology and luxury design), I have witnessed firsthand the evolution of technology and its impact on the day-to-day dealings of a modern business.The Use Of Technology As The Expediter
The technology available to us today has changed the way we think and progress in almost every field imaginable. From medicine to science, to travel and beyond, technology has greatly impacted (paywall) the process of design, thinking conceptualization and product development. The tools available for design today allow concepts to be produced into end products faster than we could have ever imagined. For example, 20 years ago, architects and designers around the world could not design, visually manipulate and interact with their creation in the way they are able to today. Additionally, our smartphones have more computing power than the sum of about 50 desktop computers in the 1990s.
Today, an object can be designed and — in a matter of seconds — uploaded to another part of the world, where a project manager responsible for manufacturing can view that object three-dimensionally via their smartphone. The project manager can then further delete, enhance or alter certain features directly on their smartphone. And minutes later, these suggestions can be uploaded to a prototyping facility thousands of miles away and initiate the process of machining. Be it a tablet, smartphone or computer that connects us, technology is now allowing product manufacturing to occur on an international scale.
In my company, our utilization of 3-D printed prototypes — to speed up processes in manufacturing — has significantly increased the overall product development sequence. Our advanced software also allows us to view a product in 3-D while it is being modeled and make changes while traveling on a plane thousands of miles away. These newfound advantages were never before possible.The Rise Of Contractual Talent
With these expanding technologies and new innovations, the total conceivable number of growing industries and specialized companies is similarly rising. For example, a refrigerator of the past would have most likely been designed by a group of engineers and product designers working for one company. Today’s refrigerator is infinitely more complex; with new sensors, LED lighting, digital temperature control and other integrated technological features, it seems no longer logical to bring those specialties in-house. Instead, an on-demand workforce and partnerships are utilized.
Further, the expansion of specialized technology in everyday products and the complexity of their systems often don't allow corporations to remain isolated and in complete control of every facet of production. For example, while designing and creating my product, I saw how companies are now hyper-specializing (paywall) and innovating in fields such as sensors and lighting, at a pace I believe is often faster than a corporation could hire an internal team.