March 16, 2011|
I just finished reading this Mashable OP-ED about social media innovation hitting a plateau – and while the author makes some good points, overall I’m pretty disappointed with the conclusion.
Sure, just like any industry, innovation is hard to come by – but to say its hit a plateau is a bit much. So there wasn’t a new Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare that debuted at SXSW this year. When was the last time a new GE, Apple or Wal-Mart came around? Just because a new giant didn’t spring up overnight doesn’t mean you should declare the end of innovation in an entire industry.
The points about innovation in other products seem short sighted too. Lets take the point about the Apple computer. To say that innovation hasn’t been on the same scale is a bit insane. How about the fact that innovation in computers allowed for things such as the internet, social media, video streaming, etc to even exist? What about laptops – the portability of a laptop is an amazing innovation? How about the convergence of phones and computing in devices like the iPhone or the new phones with dual-core processors like the Motorola Atrix that can handle most any task thrown at it – seems to me that’s pretty big innovation. I’m pretty sure someone with more time/knowledge of the development of computers over the last 30 years could go on and on about all the breakthroughs and innovation that needed to happen to get us to where we are today.
But back to the topic at hand, social media. If you’re talking about a site where you log in and take a look at your friends profiles, share pictures, micro blog and play games – he’s probably right – there’s not much left to do but refine. But the future of social media really lies in how it continues to merge with the real world – whether it’s through social shopping using platforms such as Shopkick, real world scavenger hunts via SCVNGR, your real world career and an online profile merging in spaces like LinkedIn – I could go on and on.
My point is, innovation is never finished. Sure some things have more impact than others and what is referred to as social media today may evolve into something completely different in the future – but I’m not about to doubt that there is something new and exciting just around the corner – just you wait and see.