Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Some technologies, despite all the publicity one could wish, never seem to make it to market. Magnetic levitation (Maglev) train travel is one. Yet, here it is again being publicized as the travel mode of the future. It has been the travel mode of the future for decades, and it is fated to stay that way, it seems. There are other technologies that have had similar waiting periods -- the videophone, for example and the fuel cell car. There is a lesson here for PR practitioners. Maintain a healthy sense of skepticism about technologies of the future that never quite arrives. It is always interesting to look back to predictions of the future 20 years later. Few are correct. The future turned out to be much different than the prediction, and technologies that weren't thought of at the time of the prediction appeared and took hold. I dabbled when I was young with futurism. I learned quickly to stay away. The present is challenge enough.