The world is going through a period of accelerating change, as four secular developments illustrate. Firms and governments must make timely adjustments, not only to their business models and operational approaches, but also to both their tactical and strategic mindsets.
Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinised — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files…
At the same time that science and technology have vastly improved human lives, they have also given certain visionaries the means to transform entire societies from above. Ominously, what was true of Soviet central planners is true of Big Tech today: namely, the assumption that society can be improved through pure “rationality.”
Yes, we all know that Google is dominant in the realm of search. But at the same time, the internet is also a huge place – and building a decent searching algorithm can’t be that hard, right? The chart is a bit mind-boggling, because it makes the case that Google is even more dominant than you may have guessed. Between all Google features and the search giant’s YouTube subsidiary, more than 90% of all internet searches are taking place through the company.
Orwell could not see that with the dawn of the Information Age several decades later, efficiency would become far less economically significant than innovation and adaptiveness. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and myriad other late-twentieth-century companies did not offer faster typewriters. They created entirely new products, such as handheld computers and applications for them.