Archive for category Future
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 21: A child plays with an iPad and the apptivity app at Westfield shopping Centre on August 21, 2012 in London, England. The new app from toy maker Mattel allows children use Hot Wheels, Batman, WWE and other toys to interact with an Apple iPad. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
You can see it in the glow of thousands of tiny white dots at a concert, or that ubiquitous, glazed expression pedestrians get when they stare into a phone on the sidewalk. There’s no denying that more of us are using mobile devices, and that it’s changing the way we not only communicate, but live.
In case you wanted more proof, take a look at the latest presentation by respected venture capitalist Mary Meeker entitled “Internet Trends,” which has a major focus on smartphones and tablets. Meeker has long said that mobile devices point us towards our digital future, one that’s “light on assets” because entire concepts about ownership will change, and her presentation last night at Stanford University gave some figures to show how that was already happening.
Here were Meeker’s top 5, eye-opening stats:
1) Nearly half of all American kids want an iPad for Christmas.
According to research by Nielson, 48% of American children aged between 6 and 12 want Apple‘s iPad for Christmas, making it the most wished-for gift among the next generation of trend setters. In second place comes the Nintendo Wii U, and another 36% want the iPad Mini, followed by the iPod Touch and iPhone in fourth and fifth place. Sure kids still want a fixed games console, but it’s telling that a large proportion of them prefer the mobility of small devices that they can interact with, and take anywhere.
As I wrote in my recent HBR article, a few Web-centric companies like Zynga, eBay, and Netflix are also deeply embracing the Cloud. So we see this approach to computing taking off in companies that don’t have much of an installed base of IT, and in a few older companies that perceive a sea change.
Most of the rest of the incumbents are holding back and being very cautious about the Cloud. They think it’s immature and insecure, they don’t perceive its great benefits but clearly see the massive costs of untangling their legacy spaghetti to the point that it’s Cloud-ready, and they have great difficulty justifying walking away from on-premise hardware and software, lots of which is fully depreciated, in order to write monthly checks to Cloud vendors.
The incumbents’ perspective is not ludicrous. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. Which is exactly why it’s potentially so dangerous. American industry went through a remarkably similar transition a century ago, and it didn’t end well at all for established firms.
A hundred years ago, American factories were in the process of converting from steam to electric power. It was a long, slow, uneven process. And it was led by startup companies and new buildings — the older ones just couldn’t justify the switch to themselves intellectually or financially — it wasn’t clear why electricity was so much better, but it was clear how much it would cost to convert an incumbent.
CE#568: MIT PROFESSOR: 10 Predictions About The World My Grandchildren Will Inherit (Business Insider)
What will the world look like in 100 years?
Daron Acemoglu, an economist at MIT, pondered this question as he awaited the birth of his son. His new paper considers political, social and economic trends from the past hundred years and then makes projections for the future.
Acemoglu offers a dark vision of rising inequality and pollution, but he also sees positives like improving healthcare.
He’s not a household name like Gates, Jobs, or Zuckerberg. His face isn’t known to millions. But during his remarkable 20-year career, no one has done more than Marc Andreessen to change the way we communicate. At 22, he invented Mosaic, the first graphical web browser—an innovation that is perhaps more responsible than any other for popularizing the Internet and bringing it into hundreds of millions of homes. He cofounded Netscape and took it public in a massive (for that time) stock offering that helped catalyze the dotcom boom. He started Loudcloud, a visionary service to bring cloud computing to business clients. And more recently, as a venture capitalist, he has backed an astonishing array of web 2.0 companies, from Twitter to Skype to Groupon to Instagram to Airbnb.
As Wired prepares for its 20th anniversary issue in January 2013, we are launching a series called Wired Icons: in-depth interviews with our biggest heroes, the tenacious pioneers who built digital culture and evangelized it to the world over the past two decades. There’s not a more fitting choice for our first icon than Andreessen—a man whose career, which almost exactly spans the history of our magazine, is a lesson in how to spot the future. In an interview at Andreessen’s office in Palo Alto, California, Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson talked with him about technological transformation, and about the five big ideas that Andreessen had before everyone else.
We’ve moved from an agrarian through the industrial to the new information economy
Three hundred years ago the world’s wealthiest people owned land. For centuries wars were fought to control land. Kings owned land, and by controlling it captured the value of everything produced on that land. As governments developed, reducing the role of kings, land barons became the wealthiest people in the world. In an agrarian economy, where most human resources (and pretty much all others for that matter) were deployed in food and shelter production owning land was the most valuable thing on the planet.
But then some 120 years ago along came the industrial revolution. Suddenly, productivity rose dramatically by applying new machines to jobs formerly performed by humans. With this shift, value changed. The great industrialists were able to capture the value of greater productivity – making people like Cyrus McCormick, Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie the wealthiest of the wealthy. Worth more than kings, government leaders, most states and many foreign countries.
The age of manufacturing was based upon the productivity of machines and the application of industrial processes to what formerly was hand labor. Creating tools – from engines to automobiles to airplanes – created great wealth. Knowing how to make these machines, and making them, created enormous value. And companies like General Motors, General Dynamics and General Electric were worth much more than the land upon which food was produced.