iMeme Conference Attendees on Tech Trends

David Kirkpatrick from FORTUNE magazine hosted an interesting forum last week
called iMeme where big thinkers in we technology got together to talk about
future trends.

Preceding the now completed event, Kirkpatrick threw a set of questions out to
invitees about current tech trends, which
to some interesting commentary

FORTUNE iMeme Logo

Here are a few highlights:

Bruno Wu, Chairman, The Sun Media Investment Holding Group of

1) For you personally, what technology has taken the most unexpected turn in
your lifetime?

I never thought search technology would turn itself into the bridge to all
content, connecting all passion and interest and securing such a scalable
business model, and it has become the darling of the investment community.
When I was at Sina, we already had search, but we failed to capture this

Many businesses still don’t realize this. How can a site say it understands
search without having things as common as subscribable persistent searches using
email or RSS? High quality search and subscriptions turns the web into a
customized content delivery system of interesting things.

Padmasree Warrior, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology
Officer, Motorola, Inc.

1) For you personally, what technology has taken the most unexpected turn in
your lifetime?

For me personally, the technology that has taken the most unexpected turn in
my lifetime is what I refer to as “the device formerly known as the cell
phone.” I still remember many predictions that by 2000 there would only be
about a million cell phone users. Boy, were they ever wrong!

Today there are about 2.9 billion mobile device users, i.e., roughly half
the planet uses this technology for so much more than a phone call. Today
people call people, not places!

Absolutely. When I was growing up way back in the 80’s and early 90’s, my family
had no cell phones and one land line shared by four people! Because of this,
there was some competition for the phone, but more importantly, my parents got
to know my friends by occasionally answering the phone. And my friend’s parents
got to know me when I was calling for their sons or daughters. Now, there are
times where I hardly know a friend’s spouse since I’m calling a person rather
than a phone sitting in someone’s house.

We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’ll likely reach a day when everyone’s
assigned a cell phone number at birth that will stick with them throughout their
lifetime. And a domain.

John Clippinger, Senior Fellow, Berkman
Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School

2) What, for you, has been the most surprising infectious idea of the past

Paris Hilton. I just don’t get it.

Sadly, I think he’s right.

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