The Great Sorting


Motorola Brick Phone is 30-year-old today. Being seen with the then $4,000 toy was a must-have in Hollywood, chatting  “until the sun comes up on Santa Monica Boulevard”. That was the first penguin that steps into the icing.

We are social animal: communicative and collaborative, engaging and exchanging ideas and feelings. The phone will soon get cross-pollinated with the tablet, to become “phablet”. With phablet, we can walk down the mountain, like Moses, to show the world all the commandments it must abide by. Here is what my world should look like etc… We have at our finger tips the reshaping and reinventing  how and to whom we want to communicate. Chatting sans frontieres!

We can expand our friending (via Facebook) and professional (via Linkedin) universe. We narrow-cast or comment via Twitter. All of a sudden, the genie is out of the bottle. We no longer cross our hearts and hope that “someone will get our message in the bottle”.

They will. Instantly. And the market is sorting out who it prefers: snapchat or whatsapp, yahoo or google. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we picked the combustion engine over electric vehicle. Now at the beginning of the Information Revolution, we are picking winners who will take the mantle far into the future, where information is stored in the cloud (bigger data), and our phablet gets lighter, thinner (client).

It is quite justifiable a price of 19 Billion USD by Facebook for the purchase of whatsapp, or the 45-Billion USD Comcast’s bid for Time-Warner.  Let the game begin. We barely scratch the surface of what someday, in hindsight, we will understand: man2man, machine2man, machine2machine interface.

There will be less manual job (it’s OK, we will have more spare time to chat with each other) and we will live longer (it’s OK too, we will have more spare time to chat with machine too).

We will be so connected that someday, a missing plane won’t take that long to be found. And not only travel insurance, but pre-recorded video chat ( or will) will be sold and if the plane went down, relatives will receive compensation and communication (machine2man). That way, we will have some closure. For now, whoever understands human history and human nature will rule the day (with applications that are engaging and entertaining.)

The Great Sorting. 30 years on, and it doesn’t look like Motorola is fading. It just gets merged into ambitious hands: Lenovo. Such is the fate of bricks” and mortar business in the era of digitization and disruption.

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