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Fads, Trends, or Revolution? A Guide to Navigating the Tech Labyrinth

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In the buzzing world of technology, the line between genuine innovation and temporary fads can often blur. It’s a wild landscape where yesterday’s revolution can become today’s relic. So how does one navigate this ever-shifting terrain? How can we discern tech fads from actual trends?

Rule One: Acceptance

The first rule of thumb – acceptance – is the compass that can help us navigate. It’s not about the latest buzzword or flashiest marketing campaign, but rather, where the rubber meets the road. It’s about asking: Is this new language or database truly ready for the rigors of production? It’s about rolling up our sleeves and delving into the nitty-gritty details. Does it have a stable Long-Term Support (LTS) version? Is it a production-class? What does the surrounding community look like? If it passes these litmus tests, we might be onto something solid.

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Unmasking Tech Fads

On the other hand, fads often come dressed as innovation. They’re the charming talkers at the party, boasting about their revolutionary approaches and game-changing abilities. Every technology must answer the question – why does it exist? For instance, what problem did MySQL solve when it was introduced? What about ReactJS? Because technologies are not fads in and of themselves; they all aim to solve a specific issue.

The critical question remains – is this technology suitable for you? Does it solve a problem that you are facing? What solution will this technology provide, and does it match your needs – or is it a solution in search of a problem? If there’s no match, then even a highly praised technology may be inappropriate for a particular organization.

Startups: High-Risk, High-Reward

The startup scene, ever eager for an edge, often jumps on the bandwagon of these new technologies. They need to generate buzz and create an image of themselves as adventurers and risk-takers. They ride the tech wave, hoping to gain momentum, attract top talent, and become early adopters. But remember, while the allure of the high-risk, high-reward strategy is enticing, it is not for everyone – especially larger enterprises that value stability over storm-chasing.

The Art of Lagging

So, should we play it safe and stay cautious, learning from the mistakes of these brave pioneers? Often, yes! Borrowing a principle from the banking industry that applies across sectors: running the business is more important than changing the business. This essentially means that it is wise to observe and understand what’s happening—is the new technology serving its intended purpose? Keep a finger on the pulse, but don’t let the pulse dictate your every move.

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Listening to Results

How can we be sure? To ascertain if technology is genuinely solving a problem, you should listen. Listen to the developers, the community, and the results. Results are the truth-tellers in our industry. You can incentivize a community, but you can’t buy results.

If technology is solving real problems and delivering value, if there’s a valid use case and lessons to be learned, then that can be incredibly valuable to an enterprise. And that’s how you discern between a fad and a real technological advancement.

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In the end, the tech landscape is an exhilarating one – it’s a mix of trends, fads, and game-changers. But equipped with the right compass and a healthy dose of skepticism, we can separate the gold from the glitter. The key is not to get swept away by the current but to keep our eyes on the horizon, where genuine innovation resides.

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Puneet Kumar
Puneet Kumar
Puneet Kumar, CTO at Dyninno India
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