Technology alone is not enough.


Like any company progressing what it does, you start looking at how you go about growing the business further. Whether it's sales and or marketing strategies, funding options, grants or loans there's a point where you start filling out forms and making plans. Nothing has been starker to me as a founder of Cogneto than the definition of what we are. It's easy to just mark 'software company'. And while to a degree, we do software development on our services. But it's never really the full sum of our story, and frankly a trite if not under-selling declaration.


We're not a Google who by their own definition are an engineering company who has online search tools, productivity tools and an advertising platform amongst others. We're not a solutions provider, as frankly what we do is never a full solution - we're definitely a part of a solution to a problem a business or organization has that needs to use our services.

And this left me coming back to 'technology'. I've always had a problem with the term technology. I've felt for a long time the definition of this has come to mean circuit boards, wiring and code at some level. And historically in human civilization, it's wrong. Technology is a means to deliver or achieve or do something. Weren't the tools used in the stone age a technology of their time? Wasn't the creation of automobile manufacturing automation by Henry Ford a technology of its time too?

And when I come to this realisation, to me it's clear that technology as we've come to accept it is so limited, it almost makes itself irrelevant and speeds up its antiquation. There is only ever really when you get past the trumpeting of technology a problem and a solution. The people who have a problem that requires a solution very often do not care about the technology, as the solution, its viability, suitability, affordability and endurance is all that ultimately matters.

And the more you look at it, you understand where 'technology' as we've come to perceive it really sits in what we do:

And yes, there's no denying that there's those who get excited by what can be achieved with our modern technologies (I'm one of them). But, there's a point where I feel we've now come to where value is now rightfully the proper driver of how we use and deploy these creations in our businesses and organizations.

It's now easier than ever to create something cool. The spirit of adventure mixed with a 'what-if' and agile set of coding and hardware tools is akin to how I can only imagine those who followed the stone age into the bronze age must have felt with their new found ability to shape and create ideas of art and function.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that you start with the solution to a problem, and work backwards through and towards the technology as giving the best possible solution with the greatest benefits to the user/customer should be the goal. And as what happens in our space becomes commoditized further from the bigger players in the market, their message won't be technology focussed, it will be a message of an easily transposable solution to their target audiences.


While it seems like this is a pseudo-homage to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, it's not. Whatever your feelings about Apple, its products or whatever grinds your gears/floats your boat, one thing that is clear from him is that even early on, he got the most important fundamental right; the user experience. This is what like it or not helps with paying the bills. And user experience is also similarly not limited to most people in this field's definition of pixels and their placement. 'User experience' is the sum of how you make people feel about interacting with your business or organization on the whole.

You can have a life-changing brilliant product, but if you're a horrible organization to deal with at the coal-face of customer interaction, it's hard to shift that. And we all have experienced our share of this with services we use. Similarly, there are organizations who maybe do not have the best services out there, but the fact that time and again your dealings with them keep you loyal to them because they make it a good, positive experience.

Cogneto wasn't born out of ideas about cool products or having some kick ass coding ideas. It was born from knowing we fundamentally have always worked with making customer and user experience good, understanding how we bring those customers and users with us on the evolution of services, and not bog them down in technology, but work with them for a meaningful quest for a solution, especially when we were or are a fragment of them succeeding in that quest.