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The more things change, the more they don’t

June 27, 2010  |  by John Heithaus

Saw this in today’s techworld.com blog: http://bit.ly/9ZMJxz

The slide show details 25+ years of “innovation” in personal computers (which still look an awful lot like the typewriters of olden days) …  and I took away two morals of the story:

Dynabook circa 1968

1) The pace of technology is not nearly at fast as one might think. Look closely at the progressive generational improvements from 1968’s “Dynabook” created by Xerox’s PARC (by the genius Alan Kay) …  I can’t believe how closely it resembles an iPad! Can you? Even then  … there’s more projected functionality in his version than we have today. Crazy!

2) So the more things change, the more they don’t … true innovation in history’s huge steps forward — in today’s terminilogy “game breaking” — is rare. These innovations are seemingly quite simple and so very easy to use once they’re implemented. Learning how to make fire, creating public libraries, the printing press, Netscape’s first browser, public sewer systems, and the like. That’s true innovation that alters peoples lives for the better in some important aspect. Some people in the real estate space may get excited about how an  iPhone app (replace with the current shiny gadget) is “a game changer.” They’re delusional in my view.

MRIS is looking to innovate how a true next generation MLS system runs and supports its customers. I won’t promise we’ll be as great as sliced bread (another great innovation that was a “game changer”) but I can assure you we will be inspired by those  innovations as we think about the how best to support and enhance the business engaged in by real estate professionals that belong to our system.

We’ll be communicating broadly about our new initiative, “MRIS Innovations”, and how we’ll be reaching out to the best minds in the technology space. Our goal is to leverage collective brain power and apply it to our mission: keeping the REALTOR at the center of any transaction with real time data, analytics and the best tech tools out there.

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