Great question. I think as I tend to think about identity and other technology and innovation, what fascinates me most is not even how much the technology works, but how it impacts society, how it impacts culture and the semantic value that that technology has. I was looking at museum artifacts because I'm actually on vacation, as you can see. And I started to notice that there was a lack of blue everywhere I look. And so reading more about the trajectory of blue, it really was an easy analogy there to think about how blue has impacted society over the years and the growth in its semantic use by the culture and by society at large, and by taking lessons from blues narrative path, we can see kind of where identity is and where it may be going and how we want, or don't it wind up like the color blue as well?
Well, blue, as I said was particularly fascinating because in the old days, old, old, really old days, it wasn't really used for technological reasons and for cultural impact reasons as well. And so over time, innovation hit wave after wave of technological innovation. And along with that, the culture started to appropriate blue. It went from kind of, non-existence not even used to describe the sea. Like you see behind me terms like green or, or even brown or yellow, believe it or not, we're used to, to paint the sea or to talk about the sea. And then this changed 13 hundreds or so when some innovation hit and it became massively popular among a niche group of people, the, the wealthy, the affluent. And so what that already showed was the, the early adopters had an advantage and the adopters have had an advantage in identity, as well as blue progressed.
It became the color of normalcy, kind of a normal color. There weren't a lot of outliers. It was still too new to have a lot of cultural weight. And so it was kind of an open green field for people to inject it with their own meaning. It was a safe color. And so it became from the rich, the affluent and powerful, it transitioned into something more common and more accepted by society. Cause it didn't have any negative earlier connotation. And then finally blue exploded in the last century or two into one of the West's most popular color of all colors of all time. I see identity kind of going through a, a similar progression, maybe cyclical progression, where it doesn't quite exist in a culture or a subculture. And then innovation and culture work together to foster adoption and to drive new use cases to where ideally in the future, I think identity, it would benefit everyone in terms of being U ubiquitous and not just ubiquitous, but also popular. And so I'm going to propose in my talk at European identity conference this year, a parallel between the two and then people can come find me and we can argue about it later and discuss it regardless of whether or not you agree with me. It's a great framework for discussing the technology and the cultural impact of something like identity.
If you had asked me five, 10 years ago, I would've said innovation in part because I was younger in part because the world was different. I, I think now it's almost impossible to split apart. Those two notions, one drives the other drives the other we've seen in the past year, right? How quickly the world can change. You look at the impact of COVID for instance, and COVID mandates and identity being used to validate who's vaccinated. Who's not what your health status is. These things can turn on a dime. And so I think it's kind of a false question in a way to say, is it one or the other? I, I think it's a, a unholy weaving of both together and one takes the lead and then the other takes the lead. But by knowing that they're equally powerful or can be equally powerful, then we can seek to harness that and try and steer the path identity towards a beneficial, good direction, rather than one. That might be more malicious.
Great question. I, one of the primary obstacles standing in the way of identity continuing its ascendancy and it's moved towards popularity is quite frankly, ease of use. The people we're talking about here are not identity professionals. They're not practitioners, they're not even technologists. Think of someone who you would not think of interacting with identity. And that's the target audience that I'm thinking about or contemplating in terms of identity being popular for that to work. It's not gonna be technology as such, that is going to move them to adopt that. I, I think what it's going to be is, is something that's natural part of their daily process, where they don't think about it. And so I think we haven't achieved that yet. And that's one of the main barriers, as opposed to say the next wave of innovation or, or technology. And if it's not as easy to use as a friend of mine says, as a spoon, then we've kind of lost the battle there already.