The immediately prior post means a lot to me—and I hope it provokes you, though to many of you it will be old hat. (In which case, forgiveness is begged.) In any event, I have produced a shorthand version, here and in PDF form:
Summary: What I've Come/Am Coming to Believe
*The power to invent (and execute) is switching/flipping rapidly/inexorably to the network. "Me" is transitioning to "We"—as consumers and producers. Nouns are giving way to gerunds—it's an "ing"/shapeshifting world!
*The Internet must stay open and significantly unregulated to enable, among other things, the entrepreneurial spurt that will significantly underpin world economic growth.
*Entrepreneurial behavior and upstart entrepreneurial enterprises have underpinned every monster shift in the past, such as farm to factory. This time will likely be no different.
*An obsession with a "Fortune 500" of more or less stable giants dictating "the way we do things" will likely become an artifact of the past. (Though big companies/"utilities" will not disappear.)
*There is simply no limit to invention or entrepreneurial opportunities! (Please read twice.)
*The new star bosses will be "wizards"/"maestros."
*Sources of sustained profitability will often be elusive in a "soft-services world."
*Control and accountability will be a delicate dance. Now you see it, now you don't ...
*Trial and error, many many many trials and many many many errors very very very rapidly will be the rule; tolerance for and delight in rapid learning—and unlearning—will be a/the most valued skill.
*"Gamers" instinctively "get" the idea of lots of trials, lots of errors, as fast as possible; for this reason among many, "the revolution" is/will be to a very significant degree led by youth.
*Women may well flourish to the point of domination in new leadership roles in these emergent/ethereal settings that dominate the landscape—power will be exercised almost entirely indirectly (routine for most women—more than for their male counterparts), and will largely/elusively inhabit the network per se.
*The "Brand You/Brand Me" idea is alive and well and getting healthier every day and is ... not optional. Fact is, we mostly all will have to behave as/be entrepreneurial tapdancers to survive, let alone thrive. (Again, the under-35 set already seem mostly to get this; besides, this was the norm until 90 years ago.)
*Individual performance and accountability will be more important than ever, but will be measured by one's peers along dimensions such as reliability, trustworthiness, engagement, flexibility, willingness to spend a majority of one's time helping others with no immediate expected return.
*AI is ripping through traditional jobs at an accelerating pace. Virtually no job, circa 2000, no matter how "high end," will remain in a recognizable way within 15-25 years. It's as simple—and as traumatic—as that.
*Wholesale/continuous/intense re-education (forgetting as well as learning) is a lifelong pursuit/imperative; parent Goal #1: Don't kill the curiosity with which the child is born!
*STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) is no doubt significant to a landscape being transformed by technology, though it has severe limitations. I favor the somewhat more robust formulation labeled STEAM/steAm. The "A" is for Art, or the arts. "The arts" are to some extent "what's left" in terms of value creation as AI/robotics vacuum up traditional high-end occupations—think Apple.
*The surprisingly good news: Education is busily re-inventing itself and leaving the ed establishment in the dust! The idea of and shape of education per se are erasing all that's come before.
*GRIN/Genetics-Robotics-Informatics-Nanotech: Overwhelming transformation is hardly just the provenance of AI/Robotics. Change, entrepreneurial activities and early adoption in the "G"/genetics and the "N"/nanotech arenas are accelerating. In fact, our 25 year horizon may border on the unrecognizable.
*Government has a large role to play, like it or not. E.g., government-funded BASIC-research and development is a major-league necessity—which is growing rather than diminishing. Acknowledging the limits, at times severe, of markets is imperative!
*Governance: It is hard to imagine that fundamental systems of human arrangement-governance will remain unchanged.
*Downside? I have during my months of forced re-education personally moved from a position of deep pessimism to one of guarded optimism. Will "everything be different" in 10 or 25 years? Perhaps. Will we adapt individually and organizationally; history says yes, but common sense says there are no sure bets, and frightful issues (from genetics to war-and-peace) can readily be imagined. Stay tuned!
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.