Beware of The Shiny Technology

By Tonita Proulx, Business Partnerships

Published: April 16, 2014

For many of us it’s easy to get caught up in the shiny objects. Many marketers and business leaders have a thirst for new solutions in their DNA. On top of that, tools and technology come naturally. When it comes to “innovating,” developing technology, and uniquely addressing business needs, this is a valuable disposition but head this warningBe careful of the shiny object syndrome!


When it comes to interactive business and the art and science of integrating technologies with business processes, there is great danger in focusing only on the tools and technology. Yet, too often organizations hastily apply the newest or obvious technology in hopes of solving complex problems only to find that technology only made things more complicated. Focusing on technology first is a temporary fix to organizational situations that are becoming increasingly more complex.

In a recent article by Pam Moore on the importance of putting people first, she explains: “yes, we need measurement tools. We need data. We need integrated platforms that work for us 24/7 even when we’re not working. Our websites must be responsive. But we have approximately 10 seconds or less when someone visits our website or blog to impress them enough to stick around. If we don’t they’ll click away to somewhere else, that usually being a competitor. Our content must be easily consumed on iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Androids, tablets, desktops and everything in between.”

Yet, who is holding those devices? People. So, regardless how cool or shiny the technology is, we must remember it is humans that will use it. It’s humans that will run it.

Don’t Forget the People

Consider people first to increase likelihood of success. Focus on your audience – their goals, their needs, and their buying process – starting with your content.

“We can’t only focus on technology integration,” says Moore. “We must also focus on the words, tone used. It must be consumable in a way that the desired audience wants to read and engage. You must know who they are, where they came from and what they want from you, if anything.”

Take time to slow down to speed up. Take time to get in the head of your audience. Take time to set goals, objectives and a plan to get there. Take a people first approach. Followed by a well thought out process, and finally choose the technology that serves both.


Many businesses become enamored with the technology and see it as the “solution.”  The business effort and momentum then shifts to purchasing and deploying the technology, which is often done with minimal emphasis on the people or the process.  These implementations often end in frustration, elongated budgets, elongated delivery timelines and reduced return. Are you focusing on people first, or do you have shiny object syndrome?