Business Disruption, Software, And Your Future Role

uberWhat Software Is Really Capable of!

And how it affects your future as a technology advisor…

From an article that was passed on to me by my father – things to think about…I’ve summarized some points that should get us thinking about where technology is headed, and what you need to know in order to advise your clients.

Uber Everything – Is Changing Life as We Know It

“Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.”

Deep Machine Learning and AI

I took a class in college called Artificial Intelligence – at the time (1987) it was unclear what AI could really do, other than play chess…. “Because of IBM Watson (AI Technology), you can get legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately…Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer – 4 times more accurately than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.”  In a recent WSJ article, big data was positioned as a far better way of finding talent. In other words, computers are better interviewers that just about any manager.

Self Driving Cars?

I was talking to the Bellhop on a recent trip about cars – he was upset that Self Driving cars are coming – concerned for jobs like his being lost.  My son tells me half the people he works with take Uber cars to work – no parking, no gas, they don’t even need a car. There are a lot of industries out there dependent on traffic, parking, road expansion, etc. Will we need all of this in 30 years?
What happens to auto and related industries when families realize how expensive it is to maintain two cars, which need to be replaced every few years.  One of my friends rents his car from a service for $500/month – and can swap cars any time.  He’s always driving new, never has maintenance, and doesn’t have to mess with typical car leasing problems. No long term commitment. Seems expensive, but as a sales rep, his car allowance pays to entire fee.  Uber may cost even less, depending on your transportation needs through the week. I’m certain I could do with Uber during the week…just need a van on weekends for family outings.
Auto Insurance – another one that may take a beating…how many reps do we really need?  In fact, we could all just buy insurance online.  What’s the point of talking to the average auto insurance quoter?  Do they actually add any value to the sale?

Healthcare – Finally Something Better Than Doctors

I don’t know about you, but I hate dealing with most doctors.  Google is my health advisor…and sometimes my wife. Wearable health devices are coming! That means less doctors visits – in fact we do most of our health stuff at home today, and when blood work is needed, we either order a test kit, and call the doctor, or run down to Labcorp…and do the analysis by phone.

More Changes Coming

3d Printing changes everything – it used to be outrageous in price, but not any more. This is big technology – expect disruption in the manufacturing industry.
“If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: in the future, do you think we will have that? If the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century.”
“Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.”  And you can be certain that the training requirements will be different.
Will Bitcoin will become mainstream currency? Or some other digital currency…what’s the point of carrying around dollar bills? Or even Credit Cards, when the phone is easier.
What About Education: It’s all online – available on your phone. Do we really need Universities with their big sports programs?  They may be fun, but the truth is, it’s getting so expensive to attend, it may just be unaffordable in the future…just like it might be fun to live on a Caribbean Island, just not very practical.
You get the point – technology is disruptive. If you’re the advisor, you’re worth paying for…if you’re still stuck selling PCs and Disk, rethink your company’s strategy.
© 2016, David Stelzl

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