Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, artisans and makers were at the heart of the economy. They built, sew, forged and made products with their bare hands, one at a time, lovingly creating each piece from scratch.
Then the focus switched to productivity and churning as many products as possible in the most efficient way that could be engineered. It was all about operations and achieving clockwork-like precision in the manufacture of goods. As a result, the market became flooded with things that were pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
At this point marketing came to the fore, with its many tools to help products stand out in the face of competition. The influence of marketers grew and grew, and it eventually became driver of all key decisions in the business. Millions were spent pushing marketing new brands and campaigns to the public, and it worked. For a while.
Then came the finance directors. They looked at the money the marketers were spending, got pretty freaked out, and convinced senior management that to ensure shareholder value they’d better pay more attention to the figures. Marketing budgets were cut and proving the return on marketing investment became the new Holy Grail.
Then there was the financial crash of 2008 and the reputation of finance wizards collapsed along with the Dow Jones.
And what now?
Now it’s the turn of creative technologists. Their inquisitive minds, overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm, don’t take anything for granted and continuously look at new ways of doing things. They think big, take risks and have no qualms in challenging the status quo. Their work is transforming whole industries in a way few could have predicted just a few years ago.
But guess what?
Creative technologists still need developers and designers – the new artisans – to turn their vision into products.
Creative technologists still need operations specialists to roll out those wonderful new tools efficiently and effectively.
Creative technologists still need marketers to shape their proposition, engage audiences and tell the story behind their brand.
Creative technologists still need finance experts to advise them on how to run a healthy, profit-generating business.
So what now?
No doubt the creative technologists will rule the business world for a good while. Embrace the new reality, contribute where you can and don’t be afraid to challenge things – true creative technologists will respect you and even love you for it.
And remember to always ask yourself: what’s next?
Image credit: Nicki Varkevisser / CC