2.12.2010

Prediction: Good enough is going to stop being good enough.

There's an interesting phenomenon that recent leaps in technology have created. In the mad rush to create the next big thing, good enough has become good enough. Netflix digital movies are fine even if they aren't as high-res as my TV or as high in sound quality as my stereo can push. Also on the sound front, MP3s are somehow fine even though they're missing a big chunk of the spectrum that a violin or symphony can create. Digital book readers can be black and white to save battery, no worries.

This has created an odd dynamic. I'm watching low-res on the highest-res screen I've ever owned. People are fine with big epic music that sounds tinny and movies played on a screen 1/100th the size of the original format.

This isn't going to stand for much longer. And the tide has already started to turn so this isn't some big revelation. The iPad, whether you want one or not, has drawn a line in the sand saying color for digital books and magazines is a must. Hulu and YouTube are pushing higher res through the pipes as fast as they can.

So what's the prediction? Three things: 1. We're not going to take good enough for much longer and the companies that recognize that and work to make our media / digital experiences as high quality as possible will thrive. 2. Our network has to be upgraded. Third world countries have networks faster than ours simply because the first pipe they put in the ground is fiber optic instead of the copper we originally put in. So we've got to invest. Thus, the companies capable of modernizing our network will also thrive. 3. Digital storage is going to boom. As digital files get better, they get bigger. So something's got to hold all that info. Hence, bigger drives, more storage, more demand for storage media.

While I still don't have a jet-pack (see earlier prediction) the past ten years have been pretty cool digitally speaking. Time for all that innovation to become quality.

1 comment:

trav said...

I disagree. Good Enough is going to be getting more important. Your iPad example shows just how true that is.

The iPad is not the best web browser, email composer / reader, music listening device. But it is good enough. If people truly wanted the best of those things, they would get a laptop with a beefy keyboard. But, Apple recognizes that they can give you an experience that is good enough in a much nicer form factor.

Our food sources continue to be good enough. Our civilization is eating the least nutritionally valuable food in its existence and people consider it to be good enough.