Digital Disruption, Not Quite Ready for the (Fourth) Industrial Revolution, Why Nobody’s Wearing Wearables + more

Where and how the global economy functions now versus ten years ago and certainly versus how it will function ten years from now isn’t anything that anyone did or can necessarily predict with how rapidly technology and disruptors are changing that landscape.  This week Business Week dives into how those disruptors are finding success through access, leveraging excess capacity, and the cloud.  Along with that, strategy+business has a great piece on Raising Your Digital IQ that digs deep into how the smartest companies develop and wield their technology strategy.

I was talking to my chiropractor this week and he asked the question “have you ever watched a TED talk,” which led to a fun conversation around which ones he and I liked best.  Not shockingly, I’ve watched a few, and Business Insider has a good collection they shared recently that one should watch if they want to be an entrepreneur.  Not shockingly, Simon Sinek is at the top of the list, this time discussing what he calls The Golden Circle.

Along with disruptive tech, Business Week takes a look at how snapchat built a business and how Khaled Khaled, the most unlikely of success story using an app that is the No. 1 or No. 2 app amongst 14 to 24 year olds in America and the top ten app downloaded in 100 countries.  It also digs into how Snapchat makes its money.

Business Week published an interview with Jamie Dimon this week where they discuss the future of finance and who will own it in the future.  It’s an interesting read about how the finance sector may be disrupted (Dimon thinks that unlikely) and how the finance sector can (and already is) adapt to those challenges.  There’s an abundance of hubris in the article, but one would expect that given Dimon’s success over his career and his role in shaping financial policy post-Great Recession.

If any of you have used Wolfram Alpha, you may enjoy this conversation with its creator, Stephen Wolfram, on AI and the Future of Civilization.  It’s lengthy, and is accompanied by a video that I didn’t get a chance to watch, and it is a pretty amazing read.  There’s no real way to summarize it,  if this sort of thing is your sort of thing, take the time to read all the way through.  A good sample statement that he backs up?  “I see technology as taking human goals and making them able to be automatically executed by machines.”

Along with that (and a much briefer read) is Not Quite Ready for the (Fourth Industrial) Revolution.  The title is referencing this piece from the World Economic Forum that posits that we’re standing on the brink of a technological revolution and preparing that organizationally and embracing that you don’t know what you don’t know (among other things) and to decisively pursue emerging technology to uncover the high potential technology or processes that could reposition your business to succeed in the “Fourth Industrial Age.”  The author then lays out five practices business leaders should follow: Rethink your approach to experimentation, Engage your emerging tech ecosystem, Build your own learning lab, Develop the mind-set of a maker, and Establish a process to scale emerging tech.  To point four, Time had a great article in 2014 about why the Maker Movement is important to America’s future as a good reference point.

No matter the size of your organization or company, it’s refreshing to take a look at how very small teams function and find success.  This blog posting from Venturebeat delves into that, and talks about the need to focus on culture, capacity, and capabilities (in that order) when considering who you hire.

South By Southwest is about to kick off (interactive is slated for March 11 – 15) and while there’s  a whole lot more going on than just tech, it’s venue where many startups that have been finding their way out of the murkiness make their big splash and debut.  It’ll be interesting to keep an eye out for that trend again this year, and you can get a preview of what to expect from this interactive preview.

Last, one of the big questions out there from a tech adoption standpoint lies around wearable.  In 2013, the tech pundits as a whole have been proclaiming that wearables are the next big thing and we hear time and again about how we’re going to be able to cultivate so much data about individuals as wearables become more and more a part of our everyday lives.  I’m a bit of an early adopter myself, going for first gen wearables to help track and hold me accountable to my own goals, but oddly when people ask me about my watch and what I like most about it, the answer never has to do with the data it collects or the insights that I might derive from it.  It usually comes down to base functionality, mostly due to what this article explores while answering why nobody’s wearing wearables: wearables still rely too much on other technology and aren’t really intelligent in and of themselves.

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