Ask any teenager what they learned in Mathematics this week and you might receive a look of deep pensiveness followed by some slow head scratching. Now ask that same teenager to name their top five mobile apps, and they will spit them out in less time than it takes you to unlock your phone.
We’re living in a new frontier, a digital landscape that is ever changing, growing exponentially and shaping more than just our technology. Cars, Kitchens, Watches, Security, are just some of the ‘Internet of Things’, and this will evolve rapidly over the next 5 years. Disruption isn’t simply a buzzword that employers and entrepreneurs like to toss around, it is real now in every sense of the word. From innovation to job losses, is disruption becoming the new norm?
How many teenagers are growing up believing that YouTube is the center of all information? There is a part of me that worries about the future landscape from a quality perspective. Some major leaps we’ve made in AI engineering and automation have resulted in quite terrifying results (again I link to Cathy O’Neil’s book ‘Weapons of Math Destruction‘), and I hope that we can regain our humanity in some way, amid such a fast paced revolution.
In order to determine how the world will look like five years, simply observe any teenager right now. How they treat others, how they treat themselves, and how much of their time is spent interacting with their mobile device/ console/ computer, blissfully unaware of the real world around them.
“Whereas before, if I watch this video from a comedian, our recommendations were pretty good at saying, here’s another one just like it. But the Google Brain model figures out other comedians who are similar but not exactly the same — even more adjacent relationships. It’s able to see patterns that are less obvious.”
– Jim McFadden, the Technical Lead for YouTube recommendations
If the world was one long moving walkway, it would seem very clear which way to go.
You could hop on, enjoy the sights around you, and head to where you need to go automatically. No stress, minimal effort, and in the right directions: forward.
If the moving walkway represented time, you would assume it was linear, that is, a straight line from A to B.
What if, instead of a moving walkway, you were presented with a carousel that went around and around, and up and down? Or a roller coaster that inched slowly upward and picked up speed and momentum on its way to the bottom? Maybe it’s a lake whose waves rippled out in all directions.
Whichever way you go, it’s important to pay attention. The journey is the experience of moving through time and space, without it we only have point A and point B.
The hardest part of any undertaking is getting it across the line.
Whether it’s a product, a concept, a script, or a business. Getting it across the line into the right person or environment can prove the most challenging. But why? It’s all about execution.
It’s tough sometimes to gather data, then analyse it, quantify it, qualify it, scrub it, wash it, prep it, and get it just ready for the really hard part: selling it.
We’re all selling something whether we’re aware of it or not. Our resumes sell ourselves, as do our profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter. It’s not a question of if we’re doing it, but how we’re doing it.
Consider what the customer expectations are. Consider what you have to offer. Combine the two and see if it’s a match. Getting it across the line then will be much more holistic, organic, or simply meant to be.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
From an early age I used to tell Ethan, ‘you have no poker face’, and ‘I can read you like a book’. At first my words angered him to no end, but soon he learned what I meant and why it is not a bad thing after all.
Like him though, I can’t get through a lie to save myself. I recently read Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101: Your Guide to Reading People’s Nonverbal Behavior, by Vanessa Van Edwards. Brilliant book, easy to read, and it has photos to pair with the text (funny photos too). I did feel a bit as though I was an alien who came down to Earth and was learning how to analyze humans… like the family on 3rd Rock from the Sun!
There is no shame in it, I tell him, because lying is not something you should feel you need to be good at. In the book, Edwards explains just how difficult it actually is for us to lie in a convincing way. To stay in congruous, in sync between our verbal speech and our body language, while thinking of a lie (and of course knowing full well the actual truth), and then weaving the intricacies of the lie (i.e. the characters, what they did and didn’t do/say/think, the history of each of them in the false tale, the time of day, the nuances of the environmental factors, and all of this on top of the actual events – or the false events, etc). Now picture an Autistic 13 year old trying to do this!
The innocence of a child is magical. Tap into it and be at peace with not knowing everything.