The best technology companies are not about technology

There are lots of companies with great technology, incredible know-how and that are full of computer genius. Fortunately. And those companies, a lot of the times, produce great products and great services that help us in our lives. Other times, unfortunately, they fail. Sometimes they fail because they made mistakes, sometimes they fail due to out of control variables or unpredictable events. It’s bound to happen, it’s the techie circle of life. You fall, you get up and you keep walking.

There are, however, a small group of amazing technological companies, companies whose products or services are so spectacularly good that we fall in love with them. The kind of products that a very well known individual would classify as “insanely great”, if you know what I mean.
Those companies have great technology, incredible know-how and are also full of computer genius eager to make it, just like the aforementioned great technology companies. What distinguishes these great companies from the best of the best is this one simple detail: the best technology companies are not about technology, they’re about people!
Think about it. These companies have great, technically complex and highly sophisticated products, just like the other ones. Built by the wonder kids of this world, just like the other ones. The difference is that the best companies, besides being technologically advanced, thus answering and solving a current problem efficiently, also understand people, and human behavior.  They go a little further and not only solve the technical problem but they also solve a human or social problem.

Think about iPod and the other existing mp3 players on the market when it hit the shelves. Think about Facebook, and the other existing and established social networks when Mark launched TheFacebook. Think about the way Page and Brin cracked search. Most of the times it’s not easy to see at first which social problem has been cracked. But it lies in there, somewhere. The “extra mile” they went is a “human” mile, the cherry they added on the top of their cake is not something about technology, it’s about people, and the way people behave, relate or think.

In the latest 15 years we have been blessed by huge leaps in technology development and innovation. Technology has evolved at an extraordinary pace and even the  geekiest have sometimes difficulties catching up with all that is going on.

Our knowledge on social sciences hasn’t been able to catch up as well, despite having evolved tremendously. So we have a lag between technology and social / human behavior know-how. The entrepreneurs that are closing that gap in the most efficient way are taking home the gold.

A lot of opportunities lie in cracking the social problem within technology and as technology keeps evolving, those opportunities keep arising. The more savvy we are in understanding human behavior and cracking the social problem, the better our technology will serve us.

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