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jerryking : s-curves   5

Opinion: Canadian companies must prepare for disruptors to come knocking
July 26, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by JOHN RUFFOLO.

In August, 2011, technology legend Marc Andreessen wrote his seminal article titled Why Software Is Eating the World, which became the central investment thesis behind his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen’s prognostication has since followed Amara’s Law on the effect of technology, which aptly states: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” [JCK: See also Andy Kessler's definition of S-Curves "Technology develops in S curves: Things start slow, go into hyperbolic growth, and then roll over. "] The feast has really just begun.

We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or as some call it, the Information Revolution.....the Information Revolution really began to take shape in 2008, catalyzed by three incredibly powerful and converging forces – mobility-first, cloud computing and social media. All three forces collided together with full impact in 2008, spawning a wave of new technology companies.......The next phase of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will see the rise of a new species of company – the “disruptors.” While technology companies will continue to grow, we are witnessing the enablement of those technologies across all economic sectors as the leading weapon used by new entrants to disrupt the traditional incumbents in their respective industries. The massive influx of venture capital to support the building and growth of technology companies over the past 10 years has produced these tools, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the internet of things, which are now being leveraged across all industries......Those companies that can harness these new technologies to operate better and faster, and to gain unmatched insights into their customers, will prosper. Although these disruptors are not technology companies in the conventional sense, their tight focus on value creation through innovation further blurs the lines between a technology company and a traditional company.

The incumbents, however, are not asleep at the wheel. To ward off the disruptors, they know they must embrace technology. It is this battleground that I believe will generate the greatest wealth creation and transfer opportunities over the next decade. The disruptors, naturally, are particularly active in those industries where they perceive the incumbents to be burdened by outdated technological infrastructure or business models, and hard-pressed to counterattack.

Yesterday, the disruptors focused primarily on consumer sectors such as the music industry, travel booking, newspapers, magazines and book publishing. Today, it’s groceries, entertainment and personal transportation, thanks to Amazon, Netflix and Uber, respectively.

But consumer-focused sectors were just the start for the disruptors. Before long, I believe we will see them try to disrupt varied industries such as banking, insurance, health care, real estate and even agriculture and mining; no industry will be immune. These sectors all represent emblematic Canadian brands, and yes, each will in turn will go through the same jarring disruption as so many others.
See [Why It’s Not Enough Just to Be Disruptive - The New York Times
By JEREMY G. PHILIPS AUG. 10, 2016] Creating enormous value over the long term requires turning a tactical edge into some form of durable advantage....Superior tactical execution can still create real value, particularly where it provides ammunition for a bigger war (like Walmart’s battle with Amazon). And in the long term, value is created not by disruption, but by weaving together advantages (as both Amazon and Walmart have done in different ways) that together create a barrier that is hard to storm.
Amara's_Law  artificial_intelligence  cloud_computing  digital_savvy  disruption  incumbents  insurgents  investment_thesis  John_Ruffolo  legacy_tech  Marc_Andreessen  mobility_first  overestimation  S-curves  social_media  software_is_eating_the_world  start_ups  technology  underestimation  venture_capital 
july 2019 by jerryking
The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic-calculator boom that came a few years later. They shut down their slide-rule engravers in 1976. As Mark Twain said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Or was it Niels Bohr? Maybe Yogi Berra?

My father was a proud member of the Book of the Month Club. Bored on a visit home in 1989, I devoured that month’s selection, “Megamistakes” by Baruch College professor Steven Schnaars, where I read about K&E’s study. The book’s message was simple: Don’t be fooled by prevailing opinion, and don’t extend trend lines into the future. Mr. Schnaars chronicles how 1950s jet-age thinking morphed into ’60s dreams of a space-age utopia. A 1966 study by conglomerate TRW forecast manned lunar bases by 1977, autonomous vehicles by 1979 and intelligent robot soldiers by the ’90s. AT&T ’s Picturephone service, ultrasonically cleaned dishes, cheap energy forever, future shock everywhere—all wrong.

Of course, the 1973 oil embargo changed everything. But by the end of the ’70s, expensive oil was considered permanent and the future was about scarcity and energy saving and we’d all be driving small cars with CB radios and living in R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic domes. General Electric even ramped up production of small refrigerators. Mistakes!Im-82150

Then the ’80s came along. A bull market and cheap oil lifted the ’70s fog, but everyone believed the Japanese would soon rule the world since they were kicking our butts in manufacturing and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in California. Personal computers were mere toys. Oh, and the Soviet Union was a world superpower. Megamistakes!

After the ’87 crash and first Iraq war, the prospects for economic growth in the ’90s were dim. Then Netscape and its browser went public in 1995 and we were off to the races again. By 1999 techno-utopia was in full swing, and all you needed was a good name like to raise millions and be worth kazillions. Gigamistake!

The Nasdaq’s dot-bomb implosion and 9/11 changed the mood quickly. In 2003 I tried to pitch a book about Silicon Valley and Wall Street and was told nobody would care about them ever again and asked if I knew anything about bioterrorism or Islamic fundamentalism. Uh, no. But I wish I knew about house or derivative flipping - that’s what the aughts were about, until the Great Recession. The 2010s were about holding cash, maybe in your mattress, vs. owning stocks. Oops— Apple , Amazon and Microsoft would soon flirt with trillion-dollar valuations. Teramistake?

Mr. Schnaars advised discounting extrapolations, playing down historical precedent, challenging assumptions, and distinguishing fads from growth markets. Easier said than done. The future happens, just not the way most people think. How you pick your investments, your job and even where you live can end up a dead end or the most vibrant upside imaginable. Choose carefully, but as Mr. Schnaars suggested, think for yourself.

Today low interest rates mean risk is on and caution is old-fashioned. Companies sell at 20 times revenues instead of earnings (Note: Beyond Meat is at 43 times its 2019 sales forecast, and Tableau Software recently sold for 16 times its 2018 revenue.) Politically, populism and nationalism have won the day. Internationally, China is the new U.S.S.R. Economically, the future is now. Will any of it last?

For a while, Tesla was valued as if every new car would soon be electric. The 2020s are still blurry, but apparently that doesn’t cloud the pundit class’s clear vision on climate change, drones, autonomous vehicles and the effect of artificial intelligence. We’ll all share cars, bikes, scooters and even pogo sticks. WeWork is valued as if we’ll all share offices. What’s next, communes?

My experience is that people tend to overestimate the absurd, like Elon Musk’s dreams of building a hyperloop and colonizing Mars, and underestimate the mundane, like improvements in messaging and shopping. I’m usually bullish until dreams become hallucinations. Technology develops in S curves: Things start slow, go into hyperbolic growth, and then roll over. [ JCK: See also John Ruffolo's explanation of Amara’s Law on the effect of technology, which aptly states: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” ] That’s why “the singularity”—self-improving, unrestrained artificial intelligence—probably won’t happen. Don’t extend the trend.

The tempests of change blow hard. Reading the prevailing winds, we’re all about to become robot-replaced, drone-delivered-synthetic-meat-eating, augmented-reality-helmet-wearing, bitcoin-spending, fruit-flavored-vaping, neutered democratic socialists chirping “Comrade” and streaming “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 10, “Dystopia’s Discontents,” on our watches while collecting universal basic income. You don’t need a slide rule to calculate the megamistakes.
Amara's_Law  Andy_Kessler  forecasting  future  linearity  mistakes  overestimation  predictions  S-curves  straight-lines  underestimation 
july 2019 by jerryking
The Industrialized Revolution
December 19, 2007 | Fast Company | By Polly LaBarre.

McKinsey & Co. partner Richard Foster invokes Schumpeter in Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage, and elaborates on the concept of technology S-curves and the “discontinuities” that turn the cash cows of leading companies into dead meat.
books  cash_cows  Clayton_Christensen  discontinuities  disruption  Innosight  innovation  Joseph_Schumpeter  leadership  S-curves 
april 2012 by jerryking

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