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The Most Disruptive Technology of 2013…

The Most Disruptive Technology of 2013…

… And How It Can Be Disruptive To <redacted>?

On my daily commute this morning, on my first of two trains I decided to tweet a question:

To which several people replied with a variety of answers. The most popular were the following: –

  1. Google Glass
  2. Google Fiber
  3. Windows 8.1
  4. iPhone 5S

There was some discussion as to what constitutes “disruptive” for example if another iPhone (even one with fingerprint scanning or a gold case) constitutes disruption.

As for Google Glass, I’m afraid I will reserve judgment for when it’s actually available to the mainstream.

The point I made in reply was that everyone was missing a colossally disruptive technology which was the elephant in the corner of the room.

Disruptive Elephant

1 Photo via Office365 Online Pictures

The Warptest POV

Hands down the technology that provided a disruptive element to all online behavior, stimulated an unbelievable amount of debate and was perhaps subject to the greatest ethical questions has to be NSA‘s PRISM.

NSA Disruptive

The discovery that the US government, specifically the NSA was able to access, store and collate just about all our online data supposedly for the purposes of identifying terrorist threats shook many people when they discovered that to spy on terrorists the government was also spying on everyone as well. Whilst much of this data was acquired by the NSA applying court orders to many big tech companies we all use; the idea of that much Big Data being stored, crunched, analyzed and turned into something usable startles the imagination. There must be a bunch of Big Data Start Ups out there feeling that the US Government has beaten them to the finish line.

Let me be clear, I am not offering an opinion on the legitimacy of PRISM existing or its mission statement, enough people have written on that.

De facto PRISM offers several services: –

  • It is the world’s largest and probably most robust backup system.
  • It is probably the world’s largest cloud storage provider.

Imagine a future where the US Government finds a way to monetize PRISM without compromising security and offers a data restoration fee to citizens who lost their data. We all know someone who lost that critical document or malware corrupted the data on their hard drive.

Sometimes refactoring a product’s scope makes all the difference. I made this point in jest several weeks ago when I suggested that Apple could save an immense amount of Development and Testing money by rebranding Apple Maps as “Oh The Random Adventures You’ll Have“.

Apple Maps

Humor aside what else do you see as disruptive technology on the scale of PRISM so far this year?


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