We may want them to happen or they may seem somehow to ‘insist’ on happening. But, in the end, it’s always both. Take the arrival of the mobile phone. Early adopters seized them with delight. But most of the rest of us mocked them at first, laughed at people who used them, said they’d never have one, got one grudgingly for emergencies, began to use it, came to depend on it, complained that it could work better, said they’d never use one with a camera, upgraded to one that does more, used it as a camera in extremis, etc.
This process was not conjured up by the mobile phone companies and their marketing wizards. The technology fed a desire, the desire became a demand, use created further demand, tipping points were reached, and new technology tantalised. Consumers, media and producers were all implicated in the way the mobile phone took our world by storm. The process emerged and happened and we turned our heads to listen to the incoming call as a field of French sunflowers (heliotropes) turns to face the rotating sun. So we should talk about a ‘tropism’ rather than a trend when discussing this kind of change.
“In the early 21st century, companies are like living organisms whose environment has changed and who must adapt to this change if they are to survive. They have to manage their development in a hyper-complex ecosystem, whilst simultaneously taking into account:
This is no easy task. There is no straightforward template for survival that can be taught or found in a book. This is why I think we need to pay attention to the simple biological idea of learning.”
Alain de Vulpian: Towards the Third Modernity