Technology vs Business. Which one enables innovation?

It is well known the war between technology and business, between tech guys and functional ones, between what is technically best practice and the desire for money and fast solutions.
Sounds familiar, right?

Let’s start from somewhere – the place where I feel most comfortable, talking about technology. The picture of being a developer, in the general opinion, is that you have to be fat, bold, thick glasses, sitting 24/7 in front of the computer in a dark room, limited minded, doesn’t understand the market, not able to communicate, not able to adapt, doesn’t go out of his comfort zone, doesn’t think out of the box, doesn’t have a shiny smile. On the opposite side functional, business or sales guys are shinny, well dressed, good in shape, have nice shirts, are thinking before the market, can understand the needs of the customer. And why I make this description and comparison is because for everybody in the world is important who is delivering a message and how it is delivered.

So let’s not forget that economy is the same for thousands of years. You exchange goats for corn, not much more than that. Currency was introduced initially as shelves, animal skins, bones, and later coins made of gold, silver, and iron. This is not much of an innovation, you still were exchanging the goats for something that was symbolizing value. More interesting is when paper currency came, they were generated by the banks and initially need to have the equivalent in gold. The bank was promising that the paper symbolizes the value of gold. In the end, you had not to exchange gold coins for goats, but a paper which is, in the end, the promise of a bank for the goats. Nicer is when banks started to generate a paper that didn’t have the equivalent in gold, but it is just the bank’s promise. So this means that you work for promises, and you buy goats with promises because the paper has no value, and no gold equivalent can support that value.

Nice! But what is happening nowadays is even more interesting because we talk about bank accounts, digital currency, cryptocurrency, blockchain, encryption algorithms, money generated by computers that in the end have no control. And imagine that the world puts its trust not even in a promise given by the government or by the bank, but in the collective opinion that something that is unmaterial is having a specific value. The more people are believing in that digital currency, the more the value grows. And this shows how volatile cryptocurrency is and how fast it can go up or down.

Why this currency history, well, I want to show that for thousands of years in the economy we do the same thing. Nothing is changed. We exchange something for something else, no innovation, business is the same just to prove through a simple scenario. But is everything the same? Nope, I lied, what we exchange is different. Is ether shells, bones, coins, stones and nowadays we use promises and collective believes. Is there much innovation? 🙂 oh yes….blockchain and cryptocurrency are pure genii, human genius & machine genius. But what are these new currencies? they are technologies. And every day…. every second something new comes out of this technology which enables the economy to have some progress. Otherwise, we would still exchange goats.

Innovation will never come from the economy or business, but technology is the limitless one. Technology is the one that provides solutions to the old economical problems. Let me give an example, in the old times during the exchange done by people, they have seen that is a little bit inconvenient to put the value in stones, because they were too heavy to transport, going with the wire of history, people lost their interest also about gold coins because they were losing their value, creative people were cutting the gold coins or melting them to make them thinner and in this way, they were multiplying them but the value in gold was less than the value the coin was represented. In the end, we also have used paper, during the currency evolution, but guess what people got tired to wear a wallet if you were rich you had a very heavy wallet that you need to carry with you. Also, the paper is easy to destroy, dollars or euros doesn’t matter if they are 500 e or 100 dollars, if you put them in water or fire, you lose them (By the way, do you know that Romania has plastic money instead of paper ones?). So, the technological solution was to create a digital currency. So business innovation was possible because technology innovation took place.

That’s why business, functional, or salespeople will never be able to bring innovation. To have innovation you need good technical, quick guys that are creative and free to get the best out of technology to enable your business. They are the ones that are getting their hands and heads dirty, they can make mistakes and repair them. They can say what is possible or not because they can do it or not. And by the way, not all of them are fat.

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