Best Books For Beating Business Disruption

Bonus Question: When we get rid of banking, is Occupy Wall Street out of a job?

Occupy Wall Street protesters
“The human being is best at interpreting all new information so that prior conclusions remain intact.” — Warren Buffett

Are You Loving It?

There is a new growth business everyone should invest in. Its called change.

Researchers at Oxford and Yale discovered 50% of all jobs will disappear because they will be automated by Artificial Intelligence or AI by the next century. Your heard all about AI. But have you heard what it’s going to do?

AI is going to be a better translator than the folks at the United Nations by 2024; write Ivy League college quality essays by 2026; drive trucks by 2027; do our retail work by 2031; write a best seller by 2049; perform surgery on your heart by 2053. You may as well sit back and relax because most likely, there won’t be anything work for you to do.

Wall Street traders will fall in between translators and high school essayists as algorithms become better at trading than guys wearing British pinstripes and John Lobb shoes. Moreover, no one will have to remind a robot, “make sure to take emotion out of the trade.” And with no Wall Street, that means even OWS will be out of work.

Unless they do this other thing.

Being bigly doesn’t help.

Here’s a crash course in disruption from Yahoo. As you will see, this story has nothing to do with innovation and everything to do with inability to react fast enough to change we see coming:

  1. 1998: Yahoo refuses to buy Google for $1 million so that Sergei and Larry could resume their studies at Stanford. Ouch.
  2. 2002: Yahoo tries to buy Google again for $3B and Google wants $5B. Google today is worth nearly $7y00B. Double ouch.
  3. 2008: Yahoo refuses to sell itself for $40B to Microsoft
  4. 2014: Yahoo sells to Verizon for $4.5b (penalties due to cyber attack reduced the value by $300mm)

What About Your Career?

If you were born in 1925, the average lifespan of a company was 75 years. It was conceivable your children could retire from the same company you worked for all your life. Now, the average company lasts less than 20 years and heading down to 15 by 2025. It means if employees never leave the company, they will change organizations at least three times in their careers.

Before embarking on a career journey or during a career transition, devote some some time to study and research. If you can’t read all the books below, sample a few to learn how unexpected disruption can be. It is a force of nature, which means you can make it work for you.

A Reading List For Disruption Fighters (* read first):

  1. *Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  2. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford
  3. *The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  4. The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey
  5. Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation by Larry Downes
  6. Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation by James McQuivey
  7. *Digital or Death: Digital Transformation — The Only Choice for Business to Survive, Smash, and Conquer by Dominic M Mazzone
  8. Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation by George Westerman
  9. *The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton Christensen
  10. *Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours by Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, Yuri van Geest, Peter H. Diamandis
  11. Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley money machine by Antonio Garcia Martinez
  12. The Open Organization by Jim Whitehurst
  13. The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
  14. *The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
  15. The Net Delusion by Evgeny Morozov
  16. From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet by John Naughton
  17. *Turing’s Cathedral by George Dyson
  18. The Information by James Gleick
  19. *Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  20. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  21. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  22. This Machine Kills Secrets by Andy Greenberg
  23. Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter
  24. Pax Technica by Philip N. Howard
  25. Future Crimes by Marc Goodman
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