Adopting New and Emerging Technologies: Revision or Revolution?

Kristin Luck

Revision or Revolution


Are you navigating the challenges of incorporating new and emerging technologies amidst the constant stream of opportunities and noise?



With an influx of different products and solutions entering the data, insights, and analytics sector, the constant distraction of new “opportunities” crossing your desk can make it challenging to know what’s worth paying attention to vs what’s just noise. To help determine what’s worth my time (rather than a time suck), I ask myself, “Is this a revision or a revolution?”

I recognize that the word “revolution” is a weighty one. However, it is critical to discern whether a new product or solution is merely a revision of an existing offering or a genuine revolution that will disrupt "business as usual". Doing so can significantly impact your strategic decisions and investments. Let’s explore key factors to consider when making this determination. I'll also provide examples of "revisions" vs "revolutions".


A Revision?

First, consider the scope of change. In the realm of new and emerging technologies, a revision typically involves incremental improvements to an existing product or service. It might include updates to user interfaces, enhanced features, or better performance. Need an example? When Google Glass launched in 2013, many researchers believed the product would revolutionize data collection through eye tracking. However, Tobii delivered the world’s first eye-tracking product in the sector 12 years earlier. Today, Tobii is the market leader in eye tracking and attention computing, while Google Glass has ceased operations.

Why? While some tech enthusiasts took to Google Glass after its initial launch, its limited functionality (particularly when compared to Tobii) and issues with privacy violations caused criticism so intense that users were referred to as “Glassholes.”


A Revolution?

Decades ago, researchers conducted testing for movie trailers and TV spots through face-to-face methods, typically in shopping malls scattered around the country. This method was slow, costly, and subject to interviewer error and bias.  In 2000, my business partner and I created the first secure, full-screen ad testing system for the entertainment industry (OTX). Our system eliminated the need for interviewers and vastly improved turnaround times and research costs. By introducing a method that expedited time-to-insights by taking advantage of an extensive network of online respondents eager to participate, OTX disrupted the entertainment research sector. Additionally, OTX challenged the dominance of traditional methods and prompted studio researchers to pivot toward online methods.


How to Tell the Difference Between Revisions and Revolutions in New and Emerging Technologies

Lastly, consider the impact of a solution on customer behavior. Revisions in new and emerging technologies may slightly enhance the user experience or provide marginal benefits, However, it typically doesn’t prompt a significant shift in how customers interact with a product or service. In contrast, a revolution often changes customer behavior drastically. For instance, Uber’s ride-sharing platform revolutionized the taxi industry by introducing a new way of hailing and paying for rides through a mobile app. As a result, Uber fundamentally altered how people use transportation services.



Distinguishing between a "revision" and a "revolution" is vital to determining whether a new product or solution is distracting or deserves your attention.

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In the dynamic landscape of business innovation, the ability to distinguish whether new and emerging technologies are a revision or a revolution that deserves your attention is vital! Discernment, like a compass, can guide you through the clutter of opportunities. By truly evaluating the scope of change and understanding its impact on customer behavior, you can make informed decisions, and ensure that your focus remains on opportunities that are truly game-changers.

Need help cutting through the clutter and determining revolutionary opportunities in 2024? Reach out to us.