The evolution of parallel entrepreneurship exemplifies today’s experimental economy

In today’s world planning is close to obsolete. Companies small and large must experiment to find what works and what doesn’t work. The lean startup movement has provided a clear model of how to iterate through trial, error, and finally success.

There have been many discussions around parallel entrepreneurship and whether it diffuses resources and energy rather than focusing entrepreneurial capabilities on a single endeavor, its rise is a sign of the times.

Entrepreneurs do not want to try a single venture, however many times they can pivot or iterate within that model. They want to try multiple ventures in which they can learn, cross-pollinate, and find what will succeed across the broadest possible domain.

An article in today’s New York Times titled Entrepreneurs Help Build Start-Ups by the Batch provides a good summary of the movement.
Read more

Future Creative Drinks in Sydney on 31 May – hope to see you there!

A good while ago now I used to run Party Alert Network, a series of events, drinks, and parties that were open to all. In the spirit of bringing together interesting people I am organizing a drinks on 31 May in Sydney, with the theme of Future Creative, since I expect pretty much all of the people there to match that description. 🙂

Read more

We are on track for 518% global economic growth this half-century

Yesterday I gave an executive briefing to a senior team tasked with generating major new revenue opportunities for their organization.

My presentation delved into the drivers of change in economic structure, individual and societal behaviours, the shape of cities, the role of government, and the implications for the elderly of demographic change.

However to kick off I wanted to put the group into a bigger mental frame than they would usually think in, so I ran through the following chart:

Read more

Economic structural change is NOT industry compositional change

I am currently preparing a number of keynotes for senior business audiences over coming weeks. In preliminary conversations with one group I encountered a very common and deeply misleading view of how business is changing today.

We engaged in discussions on “economic structural change”, that were in fact only about changes in industry composition. The mindset was to consider the changes in relative sizes of industries in the economy, such as manufacturing getting smaller and tourism becoming larger. This perspective is prevalent with economists, who like to predicts shifts in industries over time.

However this is a deeply fallacious perspective in thinking about change in the economy.
Read more

The future of travel and tourism: safe adventures, real-time guidance, and new frontiers

Last week, as part of the ongoing weekly future series on the Morning Show, I spoke about the future of travel and tourism.

Click on the image below to watch a video of the segment.


Some of the things I talked about:
Read more

Can cyber-crime result in global financial systemic risk?

On Saturday I was interviewed on SBS World News about the ATM heist that netted $45 million from 40,000 withdrawals over 26 countries. The video of the TV news segment (start at 09:05) is available online until 19 May.

It was an extremely sophisticated attack, involving not just hacking credit card payment processors and banks, but also eliminating the limits on prepaid debit cards before creating thousands of copies. Not surprisingly there are strong safeguards around tampering with the limits on cards, yet the gang managed to circumvent these.
Read more

The latest in 3D printing trends: guns, ears, body parts, and now in your local store

It’s been a busy day in the world of 3D printing. Below is a roundup of the latest developments, all announced in the last 24 hours or so. 3D printing is one of those trends that has been visible for a long time, is just beginning to have a real impact, and in the long run could transform many aspects of our lives.

Different issues are raised by each of these stories, showing the breadth of the impact of 3D printing. I have made brief comments under each story.

Anyone looking at the future must keep abreast of the growing scope of capabilities of 3D printing and what it could mean for industries and society.

First completely 3D-printed gun shown
Read more

The future of analogue people in a digital world

I recently gave the keynote at Bridge Point Forum on Future Directions in the Digital Age, the title riffing off the conference’s theme of The Rise of the Digital Age.

I opened by making the critical point that, while the digital world is rising around us at an extraordinary pace, humans are completely analogue. Nothing about humans is digital. While we can conceive of and enact digital processes and thoughts, these are created from fully analogue neural networks.

This means that one of the most important frames on our future is understanding the interface between analogue humans and our increasingly digital external environment.

I illustrated the idea with segments of this movie of three Geminoids – essentially robot replicas of humans – together with their human models.

Read more