What is Technology and what does it mean to you?

Melvin Day, CEO

I’m often asked by both clients and candidates – What is Technology? – and this article is my attempt to define the parameters within which I see it. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, and please do leave your thoughts and comments below.

– Melvin Day, CEO, Marketing Moves, November 2019

What is Technology?

I recently read a fantastic article by Venkatesh Rao, formerly of Xerox and since 2011 a writer and independent management consultant.

In his blog, Venkatesh makes some great points along the same lines as beliefs I’ve long held. For example:

  • Lockhead Martin writes more code (and more complex code) than any Tech company, yet is considered manufacturing 
  • Tesla is considered Tech, yet Ford isn’t – although the new Mustang might change that!

One of my own observations is that almost all non-tech companies need tech marketers, or have some sort of technology arm that needs marketing. For example, retail or financial services companies absolutely need high ROI marketers who can successfully leverage the entire spectrum of marketing, whether top level at Channel and Lead Gen or granular down to SEO and PPC.

Which brings us to the title of this article: what exactly is Tech and what does it mean to you?

What does it mean to you?

Venkatesh ventures that Tech is defined by the ultimate decision maker in the marketing process being a technologist rather than a sales or marketing person, and even in grey areas if the target customer is a techie then that qualifies too.

He also makes a wonderful example of how GAFA makes this all happen:

“Buying something might involve all four of the big Tech companies: see a recommendation on Facebook, search for reviews on Google, buy it on Amazon, from an Apple device.”

Money Talks

As with so many things, what really seems to define Tech is money. Tech investors look for very specific return profiles and if fledgling tech companies cannot return the money required quickly enough, then they are not invested in – and very good ideas do not get off the ground. 

It’s a bit like the tree in the woods not making a sound when it falls – is a company not Tech simply because it doesn’t exist?

There are other brilliant areas of Venkatesh’s essay, such as comparing Tech to various elements of the industrial revolution (print, steam, oil) and industries such as defence and healthcare – too long to explain here but well worth a read. 

The Opposite of Censorship?

He also makes a great joke about the second-most-important decision maker in an American film production (China) – which I also find frankly ridiculous and every time I see it in action I wonder what the world has come too. It’s like the opposite of censorship – where if you want your film shown in China you have to have a certain percentage of the film showing it in a good light. Which explains a large proportion of the otherwise excellent The Martian with Matt Damon. 

Digressions aside, I imagine the real answer to What is Technology? is that Tech means something different to all of us. What does Tech mean to you?

Please do leave your comments below and I’ll get straight back to you.


Melvin Day, CEO

To discuss in confidence how Melvin and Marketing Moves can support your organisation’s growth, please contact Melvin by any of the means below.

+44 (0) 20 3911 6757
+44 (0) 7967 678 002

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