The most essential challenge in making decisions in life, in business and in politics, is surely knowing how to prioritize well. Personally, we can aspire to maintain great friendships, to develop a successful professional career, to combine concupiscence with spirituality, to have a superhero body and a great relationship with the family, but one cannot do so many things well: each of them requires time, love and effort, and none of them is easy. You can’t be good at soccer, ballet and fencing.
The same thing happens when discussing business and political strategies. It is very difficult for a company to be competitive in design, hardware, software and costs because each of these areas requires different capabilities and thinking. Nor is it possible for a state to prioritize reforming education, health and security at the same time, because resources and the capacity to reform are limited.
Prioritization therefore means allocating resources to the actions considered most important. The eidetic element here is more . This means saying no to allocating resources to actions that are very important but cannot be prioritized, and this is often painful: neglecting the family in order to work more or not increasing pensions in order to reduce the public deficit. Prioritizing in practice is very difficult and that is why many people, companies and countries are not able to do it. Usually everything ends up being a priority and therefore nothing is, we simply react to events as they occur.
It is also very difficult for a company or a country to acquire technological competencies that are superior to those of other companies or countries, and this has to do with prioritization. Thus, the reality is that very few countries have search engines with their own internet technology, know how to set up advanced air traffic control systems or know how to design 5G mobile telephone networks.
Having advanced and rare technological competencies is very beneficial for proprietary companies as it allows them to earn high profits, typically proportional to the importance of the problem they solve and the lack of alternatives to their product. We can see that most of the world’s most valuable companies are technology companies. For the countries that host them, this means greater wealth, more tax revenues and more technological know-how at the service of the State.
It can be seen that Spain and the European funds have strongly prioritized technology in their budgets, it is not a new phenomenon and it is something to be publicly praised. If we want to be a technologically advanced country, we must prioritize more actions such as, for example, public procurement of advanced technological products, although this necessarily generates greater uncertainty for the Administration, the promotion of technological careers above others and the adaptation of regulation to the new technological realities at the cost of upsetting the incumbent reality.
For a new building to be a success, not everything depends on the architects. If we want to be technologically advanced, citizens and companies will also have to prioritize technology: using and accepting it, even if it means changing habits; supporting it, even if it generates obsolescence among affinity groups; and investing in it. If we decide to do so, let us remember what Polonius said of Hamlet: “It may be madness, but there is method in it”.
Article written in La Vanguardia: