Does anyone remember the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100? How about the Sharp Zaurus? The Palm Pilot? Apple's Newton?
I go back to 60's in the software business, and I've always been fascinated by gadgets. I see that a million iPhones were sold last weekend, so I guess I'm not alone. As a software professional at many companies, I got to observe or participate in many discussions and debates about whether and how to use technology to solve business problems.
My conclusion – our fascination with technology easily becomes a distraction that diverts our attention from what we really need. Effective leaders must be aware of this phenomenon and know how to manage it.
I worked on a project once that my employer believed was essential to our company's survival. At a critical point, I recommended rejecting a multi-million dollar vendor proposal because it seemed wildly optimistic to me. The delay implied by my recommendation frightened my colleagues, and they offered this glib reply: "It won't matter if we don't have a company!" So I was overruled and the proposal was accepted. The project came in a year late and several million dollars over budget.