Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Glimmers of Hope

Despite the roiling, interconnected world economy, Nokia has rolled out the N97, a new smartphone that, according to Forbes, will challenge not only its natural rival iPhone but netbook makers as well.

the real damage from the N97 could be to the emerging market for small, thin, cheap and connected laptop computers known as netbooks. After all, the Nokia N97 and even Apple's iPod Touch promise to do everything a netbook does with one key difference: You can actually slip these suckers into your pocket.

This should be hugely encouraging to anyone who either a) wants one of these 'suckers,' or b) cares to think about how this kind of competition will lower prices and improve productivity of so-called knowledge-workers.

It might seem like a stretch to imagine that the N97 is the first step out of the second big depression, but a real estate bubble isn't the only thing that cured the recession of 2001-03. It was the ongoing gains in productivity that were driven by a host of new technologies.

Back in 2007, every analyst I spoke with predicted that mobility would be one of the three biggest trends of 2008 and 2009 (virtualization and green being the other two).

It stands to reason that a more mobile workforce with better access to information will help lift our economy from the bottom-up. As our new president is fond of saying, change starts with us.

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