Don’t forget the small screens!

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There was a time when working with a computer meant sitting down somewhere, opening the application ¬†you wanted to use for that specific purpose and outputting your input onto a printer, spreadsheet or presentation format. Those days are gone now that there are billions of smartphones and tablets in the world. As someone who grew up in the day of computer punch cards and mainframes, it’s almost hard to conceive of a device in the palm of your hand with thousands of times the processing power of those old behemoths that lived in the bowels of the corporate headquarters in specially conditioned rooms to which only the super-geeks were allowed access. To think of the huge hard drives the room contained that stored a grand and glorious 5M of data and all the magnetic tape back ups and the limited access given us mere mortals to the computing power of those machines does nothing but make me believe there was a special kind of power associated with computing. That’s not true any more. There is actually more computing power in my hand right now with my iPhone 6 than the entire organization of 7,000 people had access to in those early times. Connection to the internet was impossible because most of those machines were protected by having NO connection to the outside world. But things have changed now. How do we navigate when people have multiple screens attached to the internet and able to send pictures, video, files, and programs to people all over the world at the touch of a button. One writer has called our kids who grew up on video games and have always had access to the internet as “babies with superpowers.” Whether we like the data-driven, privacy-challenging, rapid information dissemination scenario in which we live, as a friend of mine often says, “what should be probably should be, but what is, is.” Dealing with it is the challenge. That’s what our clients count on us to help them do effectively.