At be radical we developed a framework to help our clients predict and prepare for technological disruption. One of the core tenants of the framework is the notion that as a technology matures, you have to keep following the development path of a given technology — not just theoretically but practically. You gain very different insights into how a technology really works if you actually work with it as opposed to reading up on it. Plus you need to create muscle memory inside of your organization to be ready when the technology matured — as you won’t have much time when this moment happens.
The problem is that most companies (and the people inside) don’t do this.
Take the blockchain. How many (self-proclaimed) blockchain experts do you know? And how many of these have actually ever created a prototype? Have tried to solve an issue using actual blockchain technology? Written code or worked with a developer building a blockchain-based app? At least in my world that ratio is 1:10 at best.
As so often in life — you learn so much more from doing than from studying. Talk less, do more. If you believe there is a technology which might affect your business, get your hands dirty and build tiny prototypes. They don’t need to pretty and they don’t even need to work. All they need to do is to teach you.
Action leads to insight far more often than insight leads to action.