O(OP)MG — Decentralised into 2016 and beyond
How OOP changed every part of our life
The bookshop without books, the transport company without vehicles, the accommodation supplier without hotels, Blockchain, Crowdsourcing, Internet of Things and unicorns. For many, the future looks like a wave of unfathomable and brand new ideas and paradigms. All of which appear in a very unpredictable and overwhelming way, disrupting industries and cultures alike.
But the cause behind all of this disruption is not new. The source of all of this has been hiding in plain sight for decades. It is not unfathomable, as it is based on a decade old paradigm. Every one of the aforementioned mentioned examples is simply applying this paradigm to a different aspect of business and culture. This makes most things around us much more predictable. It makes our times hardly overwhelming. Only of course, if you are not familiar with this paradigm.
So what is it then?
The paradigm I am talking about is rooted in something called Object-Oriented Programming or OOP for short.
It is a programming paradigm from the late 50s and early 60s, based on the concept of ‘object’, which are data structures that contain data. In very simple terms, if you are a programmer before OOP, you would think as code to be executed line by line in a linear fashion from start to finish. With OOP, the code would be atomised into these objects, which are linked through a unique pattern of events, triggering each other, whenever needed and who would be connected in a non-linear fashion.
What is very important here to understand is the fact that OOP atomises anything it looks at and that it then re-wires all those objects in a non-linear, but more efficient manner.
Therefore, if someone, who understands the OOP paradigm looks at a hotel, it would look at the lobby, the rooms, the concierge, the customer as individual objects, wired together in a particular way depending on the solution required.
If OOP would look at a record album, it would look at the cover art, the record and its audio tracks as individual objects.
Any of that starting to sound familiar?
Why is this important for me to know?
Most programmers have been building software since the 60s with this paradigm in their head. The interfaces on our laptops, phones and media players manifest the OOP paradigm before our eyes and we are more end more learning to expect everything else to work like this. From Napster to Google and Facebook to connected cars, this is the future’s way of doing things, but more importantly, it has created a behavior and lifestyle, atomized into
What is certain, is that the OOP paradigm has already been defining what you can and can not do in the future. It is an economic, cognitive and behavioural infrastructure our future is built upon.
As Marshall McLuhan says:
First we shape the tools, then the tools shape us.
Our industries and culture are by now full these tools. This paradigm has been trickling down from the programmers to the project managers, designers and strategists, who create those tools, to the entrepreneurs, media creators and consumers, who all have become tool users and tool meta-creators.
With the Internet of Things, OOP has just left our laptops and phones and is starting to make every other physical aspect of our world become available to be rewired.
This applied model has been shaping the last few decades and it will continue to do so. There are still plenty of industries to disrupt and middlemen to get rid of in place for newly rewired services that are more trusted and more convenient so people will use and pay for them.
Customers are actively expecting customer centered services and leave the ones that are not rewired to this new standard. The Ubers and Hello Freshs of this world deliver us convenience and transparency over their service, to a level that was usually reserved for high-end luxury.
Millenials are not an age bracket, but are everyone, young or old, who’s lifestyle and work is affected by these new services and way of working. They will either live the atomized and rewired lifestyle of an entrepreneur or freelancer or only join companies that have joined this new paradigm thinking.
How does that look in reality?
Let’s look at Fintech. Not yet been hit by the atomization phase of disruption, but invested heavily in accelerators and hackathons to integrate some of the new toys such as APIs, CryptoCurrencies or Blockchain.
What do we do with our bank accounts every day? A purchase. Let’s atomise it into objects:
We use money that is sitting with the bank to give it to a shop or supermarket. The money is moved to their account, the product into your shopping bag. The product had been purchased by the shop through another market or directly a producer. Some supermarkets tell us proudly, that they work with the best local farmers. In the steps it takes from farmer to your shopping bag, many money transactions and middlemen are involved. They create extra costs.
How about we rewire that?
Let’s skip the supermarket and buy straight from the farmer and have it delivered to you.
There is a guy in London, called Marky Market. He doesn’t shop for you at the farmers, but he cut out the supermarket, by going to the big markets at 3am and house-delivers the meat or fish to you for a very good price. His main tool is Twitter and a phone.
So now there is a service that door-delivers local farmer’s produce directly to you, for a cheaper price.
Supermarkets and banks pool various sources of money and products to gain more purchasing power through larger purchases. So how about, there is a service, that pools your needs with other customers. There is always more than one person buying the same thing. There are more people doing shopping on the weekend than during the week. Like there is more food bought when the temperature drops. Big Data can make this easy to track and analyse for you. The benefit is a better price by batch purchasing.
A community in the UK did just that with an alternative energy service and the big six providers lost 100,000 consumers in one day. The consumers saved about 24 million pounds in the process.
So now there is a service that gives you more consumer power and better prices.
Banks could decide to play a role in this. As most of it is based on pooling money and transactions, it feels like a potential fit.
With Youtube, everyone became a movie director. With Uber everyone has a driver. With the next level of Fintech, maybe consumers will do what only large investors and money funds can do. Like fund new products for a company (Hey that’s Kickstarter).
This is the age of the connector. You can’t afford to not understand this. You can’t afford not to apply this.
I am waiting for the day, when this paradigm and model will be part of education outside of a computer science class. So if any educator reads this, let’s talk. If you want to understand how your business can be using this paradigm, let’s talk. If you want to know how big and connected your startup can be, let’s talk.
PS.: Yes, I am expecting quite some slack from the developers community of simplifying what OOP stands for, but guys and girls, imagine everyone else in the company would actually understand the essence of your work and thinking for a change?