10 Transformative Ideas: Part 2

Technology will transform near every industry in the next decade. This “revolution” won’t be televised because it won’t happen on any one particular day, but it will be tweeted, blogged, or otherwise shouted from the digital mountaintops by the global technology citizenry.

Valuations for private companies might be high, but there is certainly no bubble in technology. I think of technology as the development of new tools to better the human condition. To believe that there is a bubble in technology is to also believe we are at some historical maxima where technological progress has peaked (at least for a while). I don’t believe that to be the case.

Here are just a few of the many ways that the world will be transformed. (This is part 2, part 1 from last week highlighted 5 more transformative ideas)

6. I Want My 3D Printed Cake and Eat It Too. While the idea of 3D printing something still seems to be the realm of weekend arts & craft, advancement of this technology will gradually impact many industries. Someone more clever than me will come up with a much better name for the category like “Agile Manufacturing” or something while the technology and performance continues to improve. At some point, the whole experience will catch up with the promise of the technology to make 3D printing an accessible consumer product in every home.

7. Siri, Make Me a Sandwich. Artificial Intelligence startups saw a 302% increase in funding in 2014. One friend of mine even went so far as to say that every successful startups in the next few years will be some form of “X service people need + artificial intelligence”.

8. My Credit Card is Your Credit Card? Digital security will increasingly become more complex and harder to manage. With 50 billion devices being connected to the Internet by 2020, not only can your computer and credit cards be hacked, your house and your fridge could also be manipulated. It’s no wonder so many companies are chasing after the prize.

9. Using the Whole Brain. When I say brain here, I’m talking about the collective brain of the entire human race. Imagine the possibilities when the Internet has reached the 7+ billion people on the planet. The telephone took 75 years to reach 100 million users worldwide, the world wide web took 7 years to reach 100 million users. Facebook took less than 5 years. Instagram did that in about half the time it took Facebook. Yet, one of the biggest priorities of this decade is to get nearly everyone connected to a fast Internet connection to take advantage of the information and knowledge accumulated on the World Wide Web. This massive democratization of access to digital wealth will give people the resources to build solutions to a whole new set of issues that had previously been seen as intractable.

10. Learning is My Way or the Highway. Education has long been steeped in the model of lots of people listening to one voice teaching them concepts. With adaptive learning, brought to the fore by the confluence of data analytics, brain science, and machine learning, students can receive an exponentially rich learning experience. When I say students, I mean all life long learners from cradle to grave. Learning will continue to be the fundamental that drives the success of a career, a company, and for that matter, a country.

Long term thinking is a competitive advantage because so few people do it.

I believe these trends are just a tiny slice of the global transformation we are about to witness. We’ll have to check back in 5–10 years to see how much impact they have made on the world.