The End of Frivolity
As the recession hit and many folks had a lot less money to spend, I started to notice multiple media outlets reminding us that it was a time to get back to the basics. Advertisers, magazines and newspapers, meanwhile, began pushing the message that, while it's important to stay within your budget, it also makes sense to invest in quality products that offer value and longevity.
This got me thinking about how the high-tech industry has changed over the course of my career.
During the boom times, most people in the industry are so focused on what is new and exciting - and on defining the next killer app -- that it is often hard for the companies that have proven technology, and a focus on meeting customer needs, to get a word in edgewise.
But the tough economy, while it has been hard on everybody, also has been an opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff in many industries, and high-tech is no exception. Clearly, the companies that deliver cost-competitive, reliable and lasting solutions to their customers are the ones that will survive - and maybe even thrive - during both good and rough times.
When I'm trying to define an angle for any story, I still always ask what's new and exciting in the chosen area of coverage. It's fun to learn about what's new and what's next. And I think readers in the industry want to hear about the latest advancements and experiments in the industry, whether those relate to technology, standards, support systems and personnel, marketing, pricing, or whatever.
At the same time, the fact that what counts to customers is getting solid products at competitive prices and the ongoing support and services they need to keep them working is not lost on me, and it's certainly not lost on customers.
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