Updated: Dec 8, 2018
We are at the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution where human knowledge doubles every 12 hours.
Knowledge doubled from 100 B.C. to 1700 (1800 years). It doubled from 1700-1900 (200 years). It doubled from 1900-1950 (50 years). It doubled from 1950-1970 (20 years). It doubled from 1970-1980 (10 years). It doubled from 1980-1988 (8 years). It now doubles every 12 months. (Different types of knowledge have different rates of growth: Online info doubles every six months while biological, corporate, genetic, technical, and clinical knowledge doubles every 18 months.)
Computer chip processor power and cloud architecture are able to store and analyze very large sets of data, making domestic and international collaborations possible. Additionally, AI Algorithms can help find unknown patterns as real time decision making is slowly moving from humans to algorithms to neural networks, eventually commanding i.e. airplanes, cars.
Humans can’t catch up with the overwhelming flood of changes and new opportunities, desperately looking for intelligent guidance to find the next job, the best life partner, the perfect service, product, home, or financial investment.
In business, disruption is everywhere.
Here is a good example described by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes:
“Remember how navigation product makers TomTom, Garmin and Magellan were disrupted by free navigation apps, then preloaded on every smartphone, not only cheaper but better than these stand-alone devices. And thanks to the robust platform provided by the iOS and Android operating systems, navigation apps are constantly improving, with new versions distributed automatically through the cloud.
The disruption here hasn’t come from competitors in the same industry or even from companies with a remotely similar business model. Nor did the new technology enter at the bottom of a mature market and then follow a carefully planned march through larger customer segments. Users made the switch in a matter of weeks. And it wasn’t just the least profitable or “underserved” customers who were lured away. Consumers in every segment defected simultaneously—and in droves.
That kind of innovation changes the rules. We’re accustomed to seeing mature products wiped out by new technologies and to ever-shorter product life cycles. But now entire product lines—whole markets—are being created or destroyed overnight. Disrupters can come out of nowhere and instantly be everywhere. Once launched, such disruption is hard to fight."
In this example, it took only weeks to disrupt a whole market segment. In today’s and tomorrow’s world it will happen even faster.
What is the solution?
In my line of work I’m often times invited by business owners of larger corporations, executive management, corporate consultants, and institutional investors to help.
Many times the situation is similar by nature: A larger corporation was built on an innovative and successful product, then tried to stay on top via M&A and R&D but despite all that spending, they couldn’t develop another groundbreaking new product or service. The company still has a well known brand name, a solid executive management, and a lot of cash in the bank but investors and the management board are truly concerned because the numbers aren’t adding up and the business is shrinking.
Everyone read or has heard that AI is the new “wonder-weapon” and the completely wrong assumption is that somehow integrating AI technologies or even just re-labeling existing products and services with “AI” will change the game and the faith of the company.
This couldn't be farther from the truth.
My first question always is: “What do you believe has created successful companies in the past?” And after everyone guesses, my answer is: “Someone has created a vision of how the future will look in 5 to 10 years and what solution is needed to solve a real world big problem. Then this entrepreneur spent countless hours to find the technical solution, and convinced investors, teammates, and people who strongly disbelieve in that vision until he finally succeeded." But why is this the only way it works?
Here is the ugly truth: The world and business and economic environment is changing so quickly that product and service ideas alone will not create longterm massive success.
The right vision of how the world will look like in 5 years from now, anticipating what major problems will exist, and then developing the product and service ideas for these problems will.
To illustrate the point and showcase the existing reality a bit, I am a member of a large angel investor network and have never seen a pitch from an entrepreneur who said:
“I know that the average time for equity investments until an exit is 10+ years (compared to an average marriage of 7.2 years). That is why I tell you (my potential investors) what my vision of a potential future in 5 years looks like, when my product and service has matured enough to have an impact on the market, and we can talk significant growth until the exit, hopefully in 8 to 10 years from now.”
They always show projections (the typical hockey stick), either based on overly optimistic assumptions or using market research data to project into the future (assuming the economic environment will not change – which is a flaw). Why should I invest then?
On a big corp level, management is spending top capital to hire a large branded consulting firm to get all the data available and despite the short term feeling that “we did what we could”, the outcome isn't different. Crunching more data from the past will not lead to any more accurate future 5 year vision. Moreover, truly great visionaries would never sign an employment contract with a consulting firm. Instead, they would start their own business and work 24/7 to make their vision a reality. So who do you want to trust?
What is my point here?
My vision is that the socio and economic changes in the next 5 to 10 years will be fast and massive, impacting everything and anyone from health to security, no matter the income level or status quo, on an unprecedented scale. Change is indeed accelerated by new (AI) technologies but the tech itself is just a tool to enable the vision of entrepreneurs, not the next product or service.
I’m about to form/join an outstanding team of visionaries, who complement each other in their special sector expertise, and we will work together with a hand selected very few corporate clients, NPO’s, and government agencies/entities to find the best solutions (rules, products and services).
Here are the good news: In the next 10 years, there will be more wealth generated for smart business owners, executive management, and educated investors than in the whole 20th century combined.
If you believe, working with an outstanding group of visionary experts can help you participate, let’s discuss what your success story could look like.