The tech forces that are changing the world

Anyone who has attended business school will know about ‘creative destruction’. This is the force of change originally documented by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter when he described how the old would always be replaced by the new, but it will not always be a smooth transition.

The past five years or so has seen one episode of creative destruction after another; the growth of social networks, the destruction of traditional media, the Arab spring and subsequent political changes in the Middle East, the global banking crash. So much has happened in such a short period of time and it seems as if many events are accelerating.

The CEO of Internet Service Provider EE, Olaf Swantee, believes that there are four technological changes about to dramatically change the world;

  1. The Internet of things; when every device is online and connected what new services can be created?
  2. 3D Printing; when objects can be manufactured in the home rather than a factory how does that change supply chains?
  3. Graphene; when we can move beyond silicon for electronic devices how will they change?
  4. Connectivity; when everyone is personally always connected – with tools like Google Glass – how will society change?

Swantee makes some valid points. Entire industries are going to change because of these changes. Schumpeter’s vision will once again be true for the companies that fail to adopt these ideas.

Can you think of other significant changes being led by technology, but with a profound sociological or business impact?

Google Glass Fitting 6/23/2013


Photo by Colleen Proppe licensed under Creative Commons

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