In a litany of challenges facing progress, 2 stand out:
1. We humans tend to think linearly
The challenge with this is that we disregard nascent developments that grow exponentially until it’s too late, e.g. The impact of Moore’s Law. So we see established businesses like Borders, Blockbuster, and Kodak going bankrupt in a world of Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram.
The truth is there are many businesses stuck in an old way of doing things. Trusting in paper based processes, or even these processes computerised in “Systems of Record.” Right now these businesses are struggling under the onslaught of agile start-ups that don’t have legacy systems, but take advantage of Metcalfe’s Law too by using “Systems of Engagement.” I.e. Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud.
But there are new technologies coming that already outstrip these. “Systems of Insight and Action.” I.e. IoT, VR/AR, 3D Printing, Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles, Machine Learning and AI, and Bioinformatics.
The only way to stay relevant in this shifting market (by which I mean the way we transact, entertain, legislate, educate, and govern) is to ‘leap the curve.’ To adopt nascent technologies and trust in the awesome power of compounding interest, or exponential growth curves.
2. We don’t think anything will change
For some reasonwe think things will remain as they are now. Yet, even in our own lives we can see radical shifts. Our children don’t know what a ‘dial tone’ is, let alone why the ‘dial.’ Most Millennials can’t remember a time before Facebook, let alone the Internet. Let alone mobile phones.
We acknowledge that we’ve changed in the last decade, but don’t believe that we’re going to change nearly as much in the next. Yet we will, probably more. And the market is changing too.
Again, to truly adopt nascent technologies, everything needs to change. Businesses that can’t embrace change will go out of business.
Innovate or Die
Yet <5% of Australian small businesses plan to innovate a new product or service this year. Large enterprises are looking to innovate, but stuck with the expense of legacy systems.
This applies to individuals too. Most large IT firms are ‘restructuring’ and shedding people with years of IT experience. Simultaneously there is an increasing demand for people with current technology skills. Not legacy skills — those are all being offshored or automated — but cutting edge skills.
As an organisation, change is constant, and exponential curves in technology mean you need to innovate.
As an individual, technology is replacing manual labour, and cognitively repetitive work. You need to be constantly learning.
Either way you need to ‘leap the curve.’
Originally published on Wordpress