CANNES, FRANCE -- In one of the more eclectic discussions here this week, Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz and celebrity rapper Kanye West teamed up to discuss the role technology is playing in transforming the consumer marketplace, concluding that the most valuable attribute is “time.” Ironically, the hyper acceleration of technology seems to be compressing it.
“The only thing that is actually valuable is time,” Horowitz said, seconding a similar insight cited by West, who paid tribute to personal hero Steve Jobs, whose success he attributed to his passion for simple, functional designs that put a premium on people’s time.
Technology means, from an etymological standpoint, better ways of doing things,” Horowitz said -- adding, however. that the “terror of technology” is that it also compresses the time it takes for someone else to do things even better.”
“You’re in a very short product cycle,” he continued, adding: “If you don’t continue to innovate, you are absolutely going to die.” He then cited the inability of the newspaper industry to innovate, despite having a “400-year product cycle."
“They had plenty of time to prepare,” Horowitz said.
West described the current state of innovation as a “fast-food of information and tech,” and said the problem is that “things don’t have time to incubate and develop. I think it’s way too fast.”