It is hard to think of any company more responsible for technology being fashionable than Apple. Going back to the introduction of their first MacIntosh computer and through their line of iPods and iPhones, they made other companies realize that, even though form had to follow function, it better be a close race. Today the world of technology has even more in common with the world of arts than most people would ever imagine, and it has nothing to do with buying designer smart phone cases.
If an actor wants to be successful, they either head east to New York or west to Los Angeles. A musician hardly has a chance to break out of playing small clubs and dive bars without being in a musically rich city like Memphis or Chicago. Writers and painters have a bit more freedom in where they can live, but ultimately the difference between having a career and having a hobby comes from getting your work to the right people. That's where agents and managers come in.
There is a desire for us to have movies to watch, music to listen to and books to read. There is a demand that has to be supplied. The agents and managers work that middle ground. They find the artist - whether it be an actor, writer, painter, dancer or whatever - and they help them get their talent ready. Then they work to introduce them to the people who can take them to the next level by casting them in a film or publishing their novel. Certainly the technology has changed so people can self-publish their books or create their own independent films, but there is a reason why a big deal is made out of someone who finds fame this way: because it so rarely happens.
Technological inventions and innovations are in a similar position these days. No longer do the majority of inventions and discoveries come out of government funded experiments or corporate laboratories. Now people are working on their own, spending nights and weekends huddled over a computer or around a workbench. They are making the inventions that are going to help make the world a better place one small step at a time.
Since they are working independently, there is a gap between them and the people who can make their invention a success. Fortunately, this void is being filled by start-up companies that work as a sort of technological agent. They work with the innovators to make sure the invention is as good as it can be, they create websites and social media platforms to help spread knowledge of the products, and they have contacts with the companies and venture capitalists who are looking for the next big thing. Technology may have crept into the arts - CGI, autotune - but the arts can teach technology a thing or two about making the big time.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer and blogger who alternates his time between writing about technology and writing novels. http://www.thejumpstarters.com