THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING

  • Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
  • Just think: Airplanes will have a crew of two…a pilot and a dog.  The pilot is there to feed the dog; the dog is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world.  This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.
  • In the U.S., young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.  So if you study law, stop immediately.  There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.
  • Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
  • Autonomous cars: This year, the first self-driving cars appeared for the public.  Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore.  You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.  You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.
  • Kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.
  • 2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles; with autonomous driving, that will drop to one accident in six million miles.  That will save a million lives each year.
  • Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.  Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla.
  • Insurance companies will have massive trouble, because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
  • Real estate will change, because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a nicer neighborhood.
  • Electric cars will become mainstream in about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.
  • Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.  Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil.  Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last.  Technology will take care of that strategy.
  • With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2k per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents).  We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water.  Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
  • 3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years.  In the same time, it became 100 times faster.  All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.
  • Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminated the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
  • At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D-scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
  • In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
  • Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself:  “In the future, do I think we will have that?  And if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?
  • 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 short time.  This will require a rethink on wealth distribution.
  • Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available, and will be cheaper than veal in 2020.  Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.  Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore.

REMEMBER:  Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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