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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Can You Handle The Speed Of Change

Robert Stevenson Blog - Can you handle the speed of change

Did you think in 1998 that in just a few years you would never take pictures on film again? Neither did Kodak and their 170,000 employees. They had no idea their business model was about to change, and bankruptcy was in their future.

What happened to Kodak will happen to a lot of industries in the next 10 years and, most people won't see it coming or will refuse to accept the possibility.

BlackBerry dominated the mobile phone market through 2006; 50% of all smartphones sold were BlackBerry models. The Apple iPhone was introduced in 2007 and by 2009 Blackberry’s share of the global smartphone market was down to 20%. Today it is less than 1%.

Will these types of market shifts happen again? Absolutely. Artificial Intelligence is getting ready to crush many industries. Some futurists are calling it the 4th Industrial Revolution ... the Exponential Age.

The health, auto, manufacturing, education, agriculture and office industries (to name a few) are all going to be affected. The simple use of software is going to change, disrupt or totally transform traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Here are just a few examples:

Uber is a software tool, nothing more. Uber owns no cars, but yet they are the largest taxi company in the world, with a market value of over $50 billion.Airbnb is now (supposedly) the biggest hotel company in the world, but yet they don't own any properties.On October 18, 2017 the artificial intelligence (AI) program that last year beat the best human player in the ancient board game Go, has gotten even better. This happened 10 years earlier than expected.IBM's Watson can give you legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. Some legal experts are predicting there will be 90% less lawyers in the future; only specialists will remain.IBM’s Watson already helps doctors diagnosing cancer and it’s 4 times more accurate than human doctors.In 2018 the first self-driving cars (autonomous cars) will appear for the public. Auto industry experts are predicting that by 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You won't need to own a car anymore.  You’ll just call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. Worrying about finding a parking place will no longer concern you. You will only pay for the driven distance and, on top of that, you can be productive while riding. With this change, major cities will require 80% fewer cars, which will affect auto manufacturers and also auto insurance companies.

But, for every industry that changes something else will replace it. Opportunities will be plentiful if you pay attention. If you think of a business niche you want to pursue … ask yourself one very important question: "How could technology change your idea?” Some business gurus are even suggesting that if the idea doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea.

Is it wise to think that any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed for failure in the 21st century?  No. But, it is wise to think that NO industry is secure? As the former chairman of Intel, Andy Grove, once said: “Only the paranoids will survive. Paranoids believe someone or some force is out to get them.”


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