How technology’s ‘Hummingbird Effect’ evolves PR strategies

Just as sexual reproduction of flowers led to the evolution of hummingbird wings, technology prompts evolution in PR, marketing and other areas.

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I just finished reading “How We Got to Now” and loved the book. It is informative and inspiring, and generated many ideas that may be applicable for my business and clients.

The book looks at the “hummingbird effect” on innovation and how it shaped the modern world. For those who have not read it, let me elucidate.

In his introduction, Steven Johnson explains that changes in the sexual reproduction strategies of flowers led to the evolution of hummingbird wings. Without flower nectar production, there would be no reason for hummingbirds to hover mid-air. The evolution of their wing was a direct result of their need to extract nectar and the environment around them.

Many human innovations have spawned, and will continue to influence, similar changes. For instance, the printing press led to mass production of printed material, which led to the realization of the flaws of human eyesight when reading materials up close. Without printed material, humans did not realize a need for glasses.

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