Letter from the Editor

By: Tim Young

“I don't set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.”
-Dick Clark

I always like to begin my monthly letter with a little quote. A little nugget of wisdom about that issue’s theme helps to convey the essence of our entire editorial line-up, plus it’s a lot of fun to dig around for just the right quote. That’s not so hard a job when you’re looking for quotes about visions for the future or the power of technology or the value of art. People love talking at length about the unique value of what they do or the unifying power of some vaunted notion.

What’s hard is finding a quote talking about the importance of trends. Fashion designers and other so-called taste-makers usually talk about trends only to deride them and assert their own independence from them. Everyone is a bold renegade, rejecting the status quo and forging new tastes.

Which is complete malarkey, of course. True iconoclasts exist, sure, but almost everyone adopts trends from time to time because that’s how you are able to give the people what they want, or at least find a foundation on which you can create a new and slightly different structure. If you truly had to go back to formula for every new style decision, there would be no evolution, nor even any revolution. You’d have to stick with pure creation every time, which sounds like an awful lot of work.

The honest custodians of trends will admit that, which brings us to this month’s quote from a perennial taste-maker. “America’s oldest teenager” certainly deserves more credit than he gives himself in this little dose of self-deprecation, but he’s not wrong. He was able to turn fads into crazes by exposing them to the nation and the world on a larger stage. He was not an originator, but he was instead an amplifier. Either way, he was responsible for trends that spread at a rate that only an epidemiologist could understand.

In technology, unlike in fashion or pop culture, trends are not so quickly maligned, as they show us what people want… at least for a little while. Understanding present demand helps us to forecast future demand, and then we’re off to the races. It’s not up to technology companies to set trends. They must instead work to meet the demand these new customer behaviors create.

In this issue of Pipeline, we examine some of the top trends that are surging through consumers and tech companies alike. We examine the latest in virtualization, sustainability, Big Data, the IoT, the resurgence of WiFi, the evolution of the industry marketplace, next gen commerce, LTE trends, and the changing APAC market, just to name a few. Our coverage features perspective from Sigma Systems, InfoVista, Amdocs, and other leaders in the space, plus input from the world’s leading service providers. If all that isn’t enough, we bring you the latest in news and opinion impacting the world of communications, media and entertainment technology.


Tim Young


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