Geek Versions of X Games and American Idol From COFES

John Voeller thinks the keys to where we’re headed in computing lie in geekier versions of X Games and American Idol. He’s serious.

The last question I asked Voeller and John Gage to address in our hour-long conversation at COFES was the role social technologies will play in impacting decision making and the future of computing.

“Social networking is still in its adolesence… it’s a new mechanism to understand more than just the people on your block…a tool that allows us to become better communicators.”

Yet while it’s still an adolescent, Voeller noted in his presentation that military intelligence takes it seriously and candidates are now required to be experts in social networking. In the video below, he discusses four things that are colliding. One is the no fear attitude like we saw in X Games. Another is social networking or what he called the “geek version of American Idol” that provides a way for people to show their ideas and get feedback.

Voeller suggests we may find the future by looking at the past. He asks “at what point in time does the computer going back to being analog?” He says we should imagine what an analog handling of the content would look like.

In my last post on Decisions as Data From COFES and PLM Connection Voeller said that there isn’t a computer today looking at decisions as the data point. His point was we need to capture context and proactively share it as needed for current decisions. Similarly, Gage suggests we use social tools to improve our decisions in this soundbite:

While Voeller and Gage weren’t talking specifically about CAD and PLM technologies, their ideas are very realistic in our industry. We’ve already seen some integration of context and social collaboration in our PLM toolbox. If you haven’t seen our HD-PLM vision video, you might want to check it out for a glimpse of where we’re going.

If you want to hear more from Voeller and Gage, check out my previous posts from our conversation.

– Dora

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