What the world will be like in 2020 (extrapolation)

In 5 years (2020), we’ll each be sharing 32 times as much data as we are today (“Zuckerberg’s Law” Sharing doubles per person each year), and each computer will be 8 times more powerful than it is today (Moore’s Law: computing power doubles every 18 months).  Those computers will be processing that data in networked clouds of thousands of computers, full of apps made of algorithms and intelligence designed to make predictive recommendations and take automated action based on the insights derived from your data. 

Some of those actions will be taken online and some of them, thanks to robotics, drones and other connected devices, will be taken in the physical world. It’s a combination of multiple, mutually amplifying, new developments, each individually capable of driving exponential change.

So what do you think your business will be like in 5 years? I’m going to start asking people that in conversations.


Image by Frank Diana

Foresight today is systematic, participatory, and focused on intelligence to impact the future 

As I work through business decisions I’m experimenting with foresight inspired models to try to think through all the things.

I came across a great summary of the state of foresight research since the turn of the 21st century and an expansion of the field beyond a primary focus on quantitative models and prediction.  I summarized it below and thought I’d share.

State of the art foresight practice:

  • Is systematic
  • Is participatory 
  • Combines considerations from science, technology, economy & society
  • Gathers intelligence about the future to inform short and medium term decisions and questions
  • Isn’t just about predicting the future but managing and influencing it

I really like that. It’s from a paper titled Future of the Polish Textile Industrial Sector. An Overall Analysis of the Empirical Research Performed with the Delphi Method within the Project Foresight ‘Modern Technologies for the Textile Industry. A Chance for Poland

Two challenges in facing the future: past & deserved success

Reading Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive over my morning coffee, I took note of the following and thought I’d share.


Two of the biggest cost centers are things that used to work but no longer do & things we think deserve to work but for some reason don’t. Instead of presuming all initiatives should last forever, it would be better to assume that every initiative is temporary unless it proves it’s worth continuing after a short period of time.

Dealing with the fallout from the past is always the biggest part of the day, but redirecting energy toward the future is key. Cutting out efforts that no longer deliver is key. The successes of the past  always linger beyond their productive life. (End paraphrase.)

I really like that and am adding it to my set of things to think about when I think about facing the future.

Klout kills Perks, influencer engagement 1.0

TechCrunch reports that Klout has killed its Perks program and will replace it with a more sophisticated platform called Klout perquisites. Just kidding about the perquisites part.

There was a time when influencer marketing was presumed to start and finish with nothing more than finding popular people, giving them free stuff and hoping they’ll say your brand’s name to a lot of people on the Internet.

Above: Two Days in Seattle seemed like the coolest Klout perk, I almost participated but decided against it.

Klout blazed a trail but now there’s a fork in the road. One path leads to paid endorsements and the other path leads to a world of other approaches to influencer marketing, like:

  1. Developing authentic relationships with relevant thought leaders and earning their public endorsement by keeping in touch and doing good work.
  2. Observing independent influencers for early detection of trends and opportunities. Then making strategic or editorial decisions based on what you learn from them.
  3. Analyzing communities of influencers, including how they are segmented, and advertising to them and their audiences in a way that combines relevance and scale.

Personally, I find all of those to be a lot more interesting.  All of those are things our customers are doing.

What’s most exciting to me is working to build a future where the social web is taken so seriously by businesses that they seek competitive advantage in finding and efficiently engaging with the very best minds in their market online.

Sometimes sending people stuff, but a lot of times not.

Rest in Peace Klout Perks, you were an important first step in making influencer data actionable.