The Ultimate Killer App: How Technology Succeeds
The term “killer app” is so ubiquitous in technology circles as to become a cliché. It now represents the Holy Grail of tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. But a killer application broadly understood goes far beyond the narrow definitions of smart phone mobile apps. Ultimate killer apps (UKAs) are technologies that change our world and the ways we relate to it. In other words, they change our lives in profound ways. (In so doing, they may or may not generate boat-loads of cash.)
The question is: how do they do that?
UKAs do so by serving our basic human needs, offering strategies to enhance our survival and our search for meaning. They enhance our survival in many ways, with material benefits that build economic security and promote communal solidarity while helping us become more efficient and effective in securing our basic needs. They provide psychological and emotional rewards by empowering us to create and to share our creations. Creativity and social connectedness have been shown to enhance our health, happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction.
History offers quite a few cases of UKAs that illustrate these unique qualities. One of the more significant is fire, which allowed primitive communities to survive extreme climates and expand their diets, nurturing the culinary arts. But gathering around the fire also promoted communal rituals that fostered the creation and sharing of music, dance, and storytelling.
We can fast-forward a few thousand years and consider another ubiquitous UKA that probably escaped our notice: the humble pencil. With sheer simplicity and economy, the pencil facilitates the recording and sharing of ideas, thereby promoting their creation. One needs only a ten-cent pencil and a writing surface to share the wealth of human knowledge and creativity.
In this same way, we see how and why digital media and microchip technology has radically transformed our world: its economics, its global connectedness, and its proliferation of information. The Information Age has dictated that “information wants to be free.” Essentially, it’s true. For instance, take this blurb you’re reading to promote this short eBook. I’ll give you the basic ideas contained in this eBook for FREE and you can save less than the price of a Starbuck’s coffee. (Actually, we’ve both probably paid someone else for access to this World Wide Web through which we are communicating.)
So, let me repeat in a nutshell: The Ultimate Killer App empowers our human desire and need to CREATE and to SHARE our creations in order to socially CONNECT. That’s it: Create, Share, Connect. If that’s all you needed to know, I’ve saved you $3. If your curiosity is piqued, you can read my author’s blog and get the full story piece-meal over the next few months. Or, you can save yourself time and energy by paying the $3 and satisfy your curiosity immediately with the complete details. You see, the ideas are free; the packaging, time, and search savings are the value you may want to pay for. It’s your time, but trust me, it’s a better pay-off than a cappuccino.
Read on and find out how creating and sharing provide the foundation for our economy, our educational system, our cultural evolution, and our civilization. This little book is about more than killer apps, it’s about life itself.
One final teaser. At the origin of life, nature developed THE ultimate killer app: S-E-X. (I deliberately capitalized that to seize your attention. Download for more cheap titillation.)