Did you think in 1998 that just three years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? At that time, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.
What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next decade – and most people don’t see it coming.
Kodak’s crisis similarly takes place on both micro and macro scales of individuals and countries. The Yemeni economy, the largest coffee producer in the 17th century, was devastated after Yemenis have spent a century without diversifying their economy. Same happens to a physician who stops learning new techniques of his field.
These are just examples that if you don’t change and improve, you’ll not really exist to compete. You’ll decline and become negligible and this is really what happened to the Muslim World which have once ruled the world.
We live in a miraculous time, due to the rapid growth of new technology. For those following the anti-aging lifestyle, life expectancy is increasing by three months per year. People utilizing the anti-aging tenets for health are seeing a life expectancy of 94, and that rate is also growing.
“Just as we predicted 25 years ago, medicine is now at last finally transforming from the treatment of illness and disease into preventative measures and the extension of the human lifespan,” said Dr. Ronald Klatz, physician, medical scientist, innovator, and founder President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Dr. Robert Goldman, physician, surgeon and co-founder President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine tells WorldHealth.net: “Shockingly, Kodak was the inventor of the first digital camera in 1975. It only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years.”
The professor believes that the same will happen now with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.
Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next five to ten 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.
Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. In 2016, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. “By 2030, computers can become more intelligent than humans,” Goldman believes.
There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you are. Starting from 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they are telling the truth and when not.
According to Goldman, the first self-driving cars will appear for the public in 2018. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. Instead, you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.
You won’t need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.
According to Goldman, this will change the cities’ structures, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. We can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. “That will save a million lives each year,” the professor says.
“Most car companies may become bankrupt,” he expects. 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. A lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are terrified of Tesla.
Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
“Electric cars won’t become mainstream until 2020,” Goldman believes. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric.
Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean. Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact.
According to Goldman, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil in 2016. “The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025,” he said.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. “Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water,” Goldman explained. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
Goldman says that there will be companies that will build a medical device that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breathe into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap.
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 started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports,” Goldman informed.
The International Space Station (ISS) now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to have in the past.
Now there are smartphones which can 3D scan. In the near future you can 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete six-storey office building. “By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed,” Goldman predicts.
Opportunities & Careers
If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If not, forget the idea.
According to Goldman, 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it’s not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.
There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. Agroponics will need much less water.
“The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore,” the biologist said.
Moreover, Goldman assures that young lawyers already don’t get jobs in the US. Because of IBM 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% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, four times more accurate than human nurses.
Why do so many established and often well managed companies struggle with disruptive innovation? Why a frighteningly huge number of people and societies fail to develop and improve?
Torben Rick, senior executive manager, answers this by saying: “basically, it’s because they have been doing the same things, in the same ways, and for the same reasons for so long, that they struggle with the concept of change. This is actually a destructive thing that you shouldn’t leave yourself used to.”
Digital photography took off and Kodak wasn’t ready for it. Was Kodak blind to disruptive changes in the marketplace? And why didn’t Kodak invent Instagram, or an app like it?
Nokia phones were once a consumer favorite, but no longer. Other devices, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, among many others, have captured consumers’ imagination.
“Consumers stuck around in support of Nokia for a while, but after they realized that the company wasn’t reacting very adroitly, they left, and they might not come back,” Rick said. There was a time when they could count on the company to deliver the latest and greatest platform on the market.
But over the last several years, it has been slow to react, and when it did offer products, they failed to appeal to the new customer. Now, consumers don’t know if they can trust Nokia’s claims that it will change all that in the coming years. That alone will be a difficult issue for Nokia to overcome.
As Muslims we have to understand the mantra “innovate or die”. We have to learn the lessons of these examples of failures to improve and develop. Otherwise, we’ll remain living without will, control or power. We’ll simply remain negligible; physically living but practically nonexistent.