A techno-centric view of the world assumes that most, if not all, problems can have a technology answer.

Building better tech will automatically assure clients. People will adapt to new tech because (you assume) they will be 10X more efficient.

Unfortunately, prospective customers often think differently.

Decision making is messy, and established habits die hard. Sometimes, the incentives to switch are poor. People are wary of new tech because of the potential negative impact in their ways of working. Many feel threatened by new tech and stall using it, or find excuses to not use it. Or even worse, they’re willing to try but find the tech not suitable as it doesn’t solve the underlying problem at hand.

The real world requires a more balanced perspective, where one needs to factor in multiple viewpoints. Building good products requires a deep understanding of the human side of things, & an acceptance that people have different metrics to live by.

I had a chance to mentor bright engineering students with startup ideas in two recent events. In both, the students had built technologically sophisticated solutions, but ones that wouldn’t meet user needs. Worse, they balked at talking to prospective users as they felt users may not appreciate the technology that went behind the solution, not realizing that users don’t care about technology, only about solutions.

I realized our education system still propagates a techno-centric view of the world. I wish colleges added social sciences & disciplines like marketing to engineering courses to help prepare them better.