The coming autonomous disruption

Jeremiah Owyang was kind enough to invite us into his home for our latest episode of Popping the Bubbl. He is the CEO of Crowd Companies, an innovation council for change-makers within Fortune 500 brands who want to unlock opportunities in the collaborative economy and integrate upcoming technological trends into their innovation initiatives.

We started the conversation learning about Jeremiah’s personal commitment to balance in his life, or as he calls it the 3 F’s. Fitness, Family and being a Founder. Part of that has included a personal health transformation which has him participating in obstacle course races such as Tough Mudder and a rigorous training schedule that has him start his days at 5am. He relates this focus to a metaphor in life — of being and putting himself into uncomfortable situations — because it is only through that discomfort that transformation can take place.

The same is true of innovation and the expectations he places on the companies he works with… technology forces discomfort, which turns into disruption if not embraced and adopted.

Jeremiah has been studying and mapping the collaborative economy since its inception and has created an extensive and far reaching “honeycomb” now in its 3rd iteration that illustrates all of the companies considered to be part of the collaborative economy. Initially, it started with a mapping of peer to peer companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Lending Club and now has extended into the maker movement, where people are creating their own goods, as well as services such as on demand salon offerings, which can come to your house for beautification in the privacy of your own home to parking on demand, a service I personally love called Luxe.

The next biggest market disruption on the horizon according to Jeremiah is the coming of autonomous vehicles. During our interview he estimated they’d be here in just 4–5 years, by 2020. But recent developments have Uber starting rides in just 1 month! Now that this is happening, industry disruption in sectors such as insurance will be fast and a whole segment of the workforce ie. Professional drivers will go away.

The upside will be greater freedom, an improvement to our lives in the areas of health, mobility for an aging generation and easier access to medical services.

In addition to coming of autonomous vehicles we’ll continue to see robots doing jobs that humans do in the form of automation. This automation will even further displace the workforce, in fact in the recent 2016 Whitehouse Economic Report of the President sites 83% of jobs paying less than $20 an hour will be replaced by automation. Those making $20-$40 an hour have a 30% chance of their jobs being outsourced to robots.

Some interesting questions arise…

  • What jobs will not be automated? Healers, arts, massage…
  • Could humans now achieve a higher spot in Mazlow’s heirachy of Needs if the bottom phases of the pyramid are taken care of?
  • How will people get food or pay rent?

This debate is alive and well amongst Silicon Valley technologists who are leading the the discussion of universal basic income, because ultimately people will need money to pay for things and keep the economy afloat.

It was a great conversation leaving us with so many things to consider and look forward to. Jeremiah has always been a leader examining emerging technological trends and helping companies maximize their corporate innovation.

He left us with a great lesson he’s taken to heart his whole career from Tara Hunt who told him to “Get in front of the next parade, identify the trends that are coming and try to make it easy for other people to understand”

Well folks, the big takeaway is Automation is coming! How are you going to get in front of it??

Have a listen as Jeremiah Owyang take us into the future.