It’s a Tech Tsunami

Paul Nolan

When you’re pregnant (or when your partner is pregnant), you start seeing pregnant women everywhere you go. Something similar happens every time we put together our annual summer issue, with its focus on technology’s impact on sales and marketing.

In the middle of this issue’s production cycle, a special double issue of Fortunearrived in the mailbox with its annual cover story on the Fortune500. In it, Editor Alan Murray relays in his editor’s note that technology sits atop CEOs’ list of top challenges. (See more of his comments on page 40.)

A week later, my Fast Companyarrived, with a cover photo of President Obama and a feature story on how the president has raided the ranks of Google, Facebook, Amazon and other top tech companies to assemble a team of techies who are charged with “rebooting how government works.”

“Everything else is getting done faster. Why should this institution be different?” asks White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough rhetorically. McDonough marvels at the “hunger” for increasing performance that techies have brought to Washington. “They are in an industry that has constantly reinvented itself and become more efficient. That’s because at the heart of that industry is the belief that you’re going to get twice as good every two years, and that’s held for 50 years.”

Imagine if you could shorten your sales cycle by half every two years, or if your marketing team could double the number of leads it generates in that time frame. Moore’s Law doesn’t apply to sales and marketing teams, but there’s no question that technology continues to increase productivity in both sales and marketing across all industries.

Once you’ve finished reading the cover package, check out our incentive product review (page 24), which features some of the neatest ideas in cameras and consumer electronics for incentive use. Talk about a tech effect — these two product categories have long been among the most popular for driving increased performance in the workplace.

And don’t miss the thoughts from noted technology journalist Ben Parr on how to capture people’s attention in a world that is rife with diversions.