Friday, February 03, 2017

Combine innovative technology to the needs of older people and you get a successful business. I am not so sure.

I should be unreservedly delighted at the high levels of venture funds and the numbers of young entrepreneurs seeking to make money out of new products and services for older people, based on new technology.

Of course I think it is good thing and have been delighted to take part in panels judging new digital products. But yet, I get an uneasy feeling about the whole thing.

I think the reason for my unease might date back to the long period of time I spent as a marketer in the IT industry. There were always 'hot' markets and technology that was going to radically change the way we did business. Invariably, nothing much happened and it was the slow grinding development of technology and markets that created the new opportunities.

A visual representation of this journey from unquestioning enthusiasm to either failure or long term success was best shown by the Gartner Hype Curve.

I get the feeling that we are somewhere between the peak of inflated expectations and the trough of disillusionment for most of the products aimed the ageing in place and care and medicine in place markets.

It will be interesting to see what Laurie Orlov makes of where we have got to in her forthcoming publication,  Market Overview of Technology for Aging in Place that will be published in Feb.

Let's hope she is more optimistic. Dick Stroud

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