Looking back at what Living Networks got right 20 years ago


I began work as a professional futurist in 1998, and it has been my full-time avocation (other than entrepreneurial endeavors) since 2006. 

For many years my reputation and credibility as a futurist has been significantly supported by my 2002 book Living Networks, which anticipated many developments of the last two decades, including pointing to the rise of social networks and micro-messaging before any of today’s social platforms existed. 

That was not the only thing it got right. 

To celebrate the book’s birthday, we have launched Living Networks 20th Anniversary Edition, consisting of the original book with a new preface.  

We have compiled a list of 30 developments that the book accurately anticipated, including work from home, software-as-a-service, smartphones, crowdsourcing, subscription music, new intellectual property models, traffic congestion tracking, personalized AI assistants, the polarization of work, meme marketing, shifting movie release windows, and far more.

The book also contained detailed guidance on how to build success in a hyperconnected world. While I would of course change a few things 20 years later, I think almost all the advice in the book holds just as much today as when it came out, in some cases even more.

Living Networks 20th Anniversary Edition is available as a free ebook, feel free to download and have a look!