Jesse on stage at TechFestNW 2015 back in August.

Predicting the Future is Difficult

Jesse Schell’s entertaining framing of The Hype Curve, The Innovator’s Dilemma and answering a non-question during the Q&A

I was thrilled to see that Jesse Schell was in this year’s line-up for TechFestNW. I first met him and saw him speak at Games for Change in 2011. Predictably, I was on a panel looking at “Engaging the News,” while Jesse was the closing keynote with “Make Games, Not War.” It’s also very much worth watching. But if you missed Jesse at this year’s TFNW2015 or couldn’t attend the conference altogether, Jesse’s keynote, Practical Techniques for Predicting the Future, is worth watching end-to-end. It’s one of my favorites. He’s funny, smart, and thought provoking. Now that it is up online (thanks Willamette Week), YOU can watch it too. To me, there are three specific reasons and points during his keynote worth noting:

  1. The Hype Curve (07:27) — Jesse modeling the iPad to explain The Hype Curve is hilarious. But more importantly, how it applies to the excitement of Augmented Reality as explained during the Q&A is spot on.
  2. The Innovator’s Dilemma (09:51) — Jesse nailed the best way to explain Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma: “The reason disruption happens is because big companies make the error of listening to their customers.” The way he walks through the disruption graph in the voices of big companies and customers is gut-busting: Customer: “We don’t care, we’ve moved on, we’re using this now.” Big company: “But we just asked you!!!” It’s very reminiscent of Steve Job’s quote on market research: “… people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
  3. Answering a non-question from the audience (36:00) — My absolute favorite part is during the Q&A when an audience member asked a non-question, and Jesse mirrors the question back: “Let me repeat the question: I sound like I’m full of it… am I?” Hilarious!

This is definitely on top of my Dream Lectures. Embedded here for your convenience:

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Husband, father, brother, son, bridge builder, strategist; endowed chair in Journalism Innovation & Civic Engagement, University of Oregon School of Journalism

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Andrew DeVigal

Andrew DeVigal

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Husband, father, brother, son, bridge builder, strategist; endowed chair in Journalism Innovation & Civic Engagement, University of Oregon School of Journalism