Catching the Next Big Wave

Surfing the web

As a kid surfing there was always an old bloke that would just sit out the back waiting for the perfect wave to come through – the next “big thing” – he’d sit there for what seemed like eternity while closer to the action, us grommets would race around picking and surf anything that even looked like a wave.  In many ways that’s how much of the digital world reacts – businesses, advertising agencies, consumers busy trying to get on board the next technology fad wave that may become a trend.

In my work I constantly hear and read the techno babble of “What mobile apps are you developing?” and cringe.   Mobility is just one element of technology convergence – the interactive landscape will cover everything from your mobile to rich media e-books; Internet enabled TVs to digital radio; point of sale displays to outdoor digital billboards.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my iPhone – much like I loved my first PC 20 something years ago and our first big screen TV (wow haven’t the prices dropped there!)  Fact is there will always be something new and next year I’ll want a new phone or TV for what reason I don’t know yet.

Interestingly, so much of new technology is about creating pre release hype and in many ways it’s like the movies, but, just because a major studio is behind a project doesn’t mean it will be a success.

I think of Avatar (which I loved) and the Hurt Locker (seeing this week).

As you may know this week at the Oscars Apple launched their first TVC for the iPad and already there’s a new wave of feedback and comments on whether the campaign was successful; whether the iPad will do for publishing what the iPhone and iPod have done for mobile computing and music.

End of the day it’s you and I who decide with our wallet and whether we share a positive or negative experience.

On the weekend a girlfriend bought a new Blackberry with the initial intent of getting an iPhone – the sales guy telling her lot’s of returns on the iPhone convinced her not to buy.  Fact or fiction?

Whatever the truth it’s a classic example of the “trusted knowledge” expert’s influence.

Back at the movies, Avatar generated over a billion dollars in the first three weeks but didn’t win the Oscar.  Who’s the winner?

As the old bloke now in the water I’ll just paddle out the back.  Hmm wonder if the iPad comes in a waterproof version I can drop inside my surfboard?  Been there, done that!


Ex publican, photographer, musician, entrepreneur and Head of Digital for the Cronulla Sharks.