When I first started talking about technology cross-pollination in January 2014, I described it as “the biggest trend in technology.” I now see it not as a trend or a disruption but simply, the future.
Cross-pollination is the transformation of traditional industries by the convergence and application of technology to produce real, actionable solutions to customer problems. It is the use of technology to solve long standing problems in a fundamentally different way.
Technology has historically flourished as an industry by creating continuous substitutes for human processes and, lately, even for itself. Increasing compute power, storage and bandwidth, and the Internet itself, have helped us automate, accelerate and connect ever faster. One example of this is the evolution of communications, where phones and email eliminated in person meetings and letters, then they were disrupted by mobile, video conferencing and mobile messaging. Another example from Retail was the displacement of bricks-n-mortar stores by ecommerce sites like Amazon and eBay.