Converging Technologies, Diverging Trends

I just got encouraged to write on this while I was going through the details of Amazon’s latest gadget “Kindle”: A perfect example of increasing convergence in technologies.


The Guntenberg era is definitely over. Today we have leapfrogged into the world where there is no (and cannot be any) industry living in isolation. The different modes of communication and information are continually reforming to adapt to the enduring demands of technology. And all this started with the invention of internet 40 years ago that literary changed the way we create, consume, learn and interact with each other. The world suddenly got converged and physical distances just remained a theoretical unit of measurement.
Take an example of a simple event of communicating ‘a word’ to your dear one living at a far distance. The need of communication was resolved the same day when telegraph was invented. But things did not stop here! Today we have a mobile which also does the needful but along with that empowers you with the immediate verbal response, video, music, internet, games, banking and what not. And interestingly you might have a handset of Nokia, transported by DHL, sold in Wal-Mart, having chip and circuit by Intel, operating software by Google, loaded with applications by Microsoft, service network by Airtel and a bill Payment facility by HSBC. So a small product has made so many industries converge together to maintain their existence in the cut throat competitive world. The products like i phone, i pad, kindle all are the outcome of this convergence.
There has been lot of benefits of this symbiotic relationship between industries. Customer has got lucky to get his hands on the products he could have never dreamt of. In a way, this convergence is creating dreams for people and then realizing them on its own. As a result, the customer attraction to any product has become very short term now which changing the trends of preference in no time. Every single company is trying to diverge its product portfolio to cope up with the ever changing consumer behavior.   
But in the shadows of this convergence and divergence effect, one more phenomenon was emerging that is gradually shaping the future movement of each industry: The phenomenon of consolidation. As it is said that “when everyone is unique, no one is unique”, the companies started grabbing every opportunity to catch hold of their potential rival and if profitable, get into the vertical integration thereby consolidating the scattered market and maintain their uniqueness. Also the technology is playing its due role of catalyst in this process of consolidation through the open source availability, cloud computing and web 2.0 – the technology of future.
How these effects are driving the economy can be well related to what we have been discussing these days in our MFP classes. How the world shifted from technology to oil and to gas in future is to an extent the result of this convergence, divergence and consolidation.
But looking at all this development, I was just wondering if this is the saturation of convergence or we are yet to see some more. If yes, then what?

Gaurav
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