Has the meaning of 'technology' lost its touch? Why we need a new way to describe innovation

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The term "technology" has become a catchall that businesses across numerous industries have adopted to increase their sense of luster or highlight rapid growth, according to  Alex Webb, a Bloomberg opinion columnist.

In an April 9 column, Mr. Webb highlights the need to retire the term technology and come up with a new descriptor system for true innovation.

"We need a more nuanced way to talk about cutting-edge innovation," he wrote. "Describing a firm as a technology company tells you nothing about its business. Because when everything is technology, it becomes a classification that's devoid of meaning."

Technology has spouted a lengthy list of offspring, from adtech to biotech to foodtech and more, Mr. Webb argued, suggesting that we start dropping the "-tech" suffix from the subsets. The S&P 500 has 74 IT companies that collectively account for 25 percent of the index's weighting, up from the 35 companies that represented just 6.6 percent of weighting in 1990, according to Mr. Webb.

"Technology has accelerated into every corner of the economy over the past 30 years," Mr. Webb wrote. "A word that already encompassed manufacturing, industry, invention, applied science, and the machine was slapped on any company that wanted to associate itself with rapid growth."

 

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