Life is personal. Business is personal. And so is technology (specifically information and communications technology). To explain why, let me paraphrase quotes from the excellent book “Information Rules” by Hal Varian and Carl Shapiro.
- Information is essentially anything that can be digitized, that is, encoded as a stream of bits (sports scores, books, databases, music, movies, magazines, stock quotes, Web pages and the like)
- Information as an “Experience Good” – you have to experience it to know what it is
- Two sides of ICT: Information (software) and the Infrastructure (hardware). Software and hardware are inexorably linked. Neither software nor hardware is of much value without the other; they are only valuable because they work together as a system
Information is basically software. And since you have to experience information to know what it is, it is no wonder that technology is so personal. Experience is subjective. It is part of human nature, and that is why people need not argue which platform or operating system is better. It’s just nonsense. You don’t argue with beauty, preferences or taste because that is purely subjective, and thus personal.
You don’t argue with one’s individual experience. You don’t argue with the internal state of an individual (you cannot change that anyway). You don’t have to dislike others just because you are not like them, and certainly you don’t have to persuade anyone to believe in your technology just because it is the only way (that is akin to religious fundamentalism).
Technology is there to empower and entertain people. What is left for every individual is to face its consequence and take responsibility.