ABB Wireless

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hey, it works after all

I've noticed that tech journalism follows its own kind of "Crossing the Chasm" curve. First, there's the hype, which precedes the actual product launch. Then, the giddy early adopter reviews, which, unless the product truly flops, are written during that initial euphoria over the fact that the technology works at all. Positive first reviews in mainstream media are next, followed by articles in local papers and non-tech publications. Then comes the backlash. It's no longer cool to write about how the technology works -- everybody's heard about it. Writers try to expose flaws, predict the demise of the product or technology, and generally take a negative viewpoint. Finally, much later, and only if the technology actually has some fundamental merits, comes the "hey, it works after all" press.

I think we're finally there with muni Wi-Fi, after four years. The first five steps have happened, and the backlash has dissipated. Relatively factual, neutral reports are starting to appear, such as this one on MuniWireless: "Real world measurements show muni Wi-Fi networks outperform WiMAX and cellular". There's little hype or prejudice, just the message that "hey, it works after all."