The start of a new year naturally has lots of folks looking both back and ahead, and when you’re in the business of innovation, there’s a lot to consider.
A lot has happened in technology over the last 20 years. In 2000, there was no Youtube. Facebook was only available on universities, and Bitcoin, Spotify, and Blockchain were words that would’ve been shot down in a game of Scrabble.
You’re probably reading this on a smartphone, while just 20 years ago people would’ve laughed about the idea of a mobile telephone that could connect to information all over the world.
The technologies that have been developed since 2000 are now deeply ingrained in every waking minute of our daily lives. And the speed at which technology shifts and innovates is scary fast. Around 50 years ago, Intel’s Gordon Moore predicted that the speed of computers would double every year, for the same cost.
In 1965 the impact wasn’t as big as it is today (that’s before 50-some years of exponential growth after all), but in today’s terms think of it this way:
2014: The computer exceeds the calculation power of a mouse’s brain
2023: The computer will exceed the calculation power of a human’s brain
2045: The computer will exceed the calculation power of all human beings all together
Let’s stop for a minute at that last one: Five years ago the computer only just smarter than a mouse. In about 25 years (according to Moore’s law) the computer will be smarter than the combined calculation power of 7 BILLION people.
Look. We’re an organization that lives and breathes innovation and digital transformation, but this blows even our minds.
It’s a new world
Utopian worlds from science fiction series are becoming more and more realistic. Obviously we won’t be hunting down Klingons in the upcoming years, but we live in a world where self-driving cars are an actual thing. Siri and Alexa are basically robots without bodies that live in our homes and interact with us. In 5 years, drones will deliver your Amazon packages, your new kidney will be 3D printed, and your fridge will know when the milk is gone and automatically order it for you. Which will then be delivered by, yes, a drone.
Whether or not you’re actually interested in or want any of this, it’s going to happen. What’s more, it’s already happening. Of course, you can be stubborn and hold on to what you want to keep, but that doesn’t work. The world will move on, with or without you (just ask U2).
The future is now
If you’re not innovating yet because you don’t want to start without knowing what the technology will look like, I’ve got news for you: nobody knows.
The only thing we do know is that standing still is not a survival tactic. We live in an era where innovation goes fast. Like really fast. Planning for your company 10 years out is near impossible, because so much will change. Everything is about speeds and flexibility. In fact, those are the only constants that you can predict. Jobs and even entire branches that fail to adapt will disappear.
The point of all this is not to scare you. It’s that we live at a sort of tipping point. On the one hand, the technology we have now is almost old and reliable, it’s “good enough”. On the other hand, innovation is about to make things possible that we can now only dream about.
What does this mean for your sector or job? What can you do to still be relevant in the face of exponential change? Get in touch with us at Betty Blocks, we want to hear it.