Envisioning A New Industry
Just as the banks businesses are being unbundled so is business more generally. Atomized, deconstructed. Made leaner fitter and more agile.
This is a result of a changed environment. Just as dinosaurs adapted, grew smaller, leaner, invented the feather and took flight to survive and thrive in a new environment (along with just about every other life-form larger than the nematode worm) so too, in a radically changed environment, must not just the banks and other behemoths but the entire business world.
New tools, new models, new ways of thinking and of working are evolving around us. Although this is happening orders of magnitude faster that mere genetic evolution because it is an evolution of thought, models, practices and civilization. Or to put it another way more a radical change in the extelligence we all share, than the intelligence of each.
The other radical change that has brought this about is the increasing (and still growing) hyper-connection of these individual processors/intelligences/people. The creation of not one but many hive-minds, each a kind of human-intelligence supercomputer dedicated to one task, cause or business. As Steve Jobs once predicted.
This is how the worlds greatest and most powerful supercomputers are now made — by interlinking many processors. It’s less about the simple flow of information or transactions than the creation of relationship, groups (tribes if you prefer — although they’re rarely tribal) that allow the creation of a co-intelligence. Which changes the nature of our shared extelligence.
This is, or course, unprecedented and so, naturally, language cannot keep up. We often lack words to label (and sometimes to describe) this reality in which we increasingly live. This doesn’t prevent it from happening — but it does tend to slow it down, to slow adoption, until someone, somewhere, helpfully comes up with a term or phrase catchy enough to label or at least describe it.
In some respects it’s language that is a determining factor on the rate of adoption. (Not so much on the rate of re-creation because innovators by their nature tend to think beyond the labels to the nature of the things around them and with which they deal, in order to be able to understand and so manipulate and innovate).
One of the chief casualties of this great shift in the environment is not difficult to predict: The job. Or at least the job as we know it — an invention of a previous industrial revolution we now treat as if it were a law of nature.
We all need a livelihood — fewer and fewer of us will derive this from a job, more and more of us from a business of some sort. Many of them micro businesses — which are more needed and more sustainable than ever. Because we all now have a common infrastructure better and more powerful than even the wealthiest corporation could have dreamed of a couple of decades or so ago.
Enter #BizTech — the unbundling of business.
Like #Fintech and #Regtech which became recognized before it this is less about the tech itself and more about adapting to it’s impact and the new environment it has created. It varies but is often more or less 50 percent new tech, platforms and services and the rest innovation in models and ways of working. (For example the power of the API is only now beginning to be explored — and will undoubtedly be exceeded by what comes after it).
Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo (and creator / progenitor of the crowdfunding model and industry) said recently “There isn’t a label for the industry that we’re building right now, which is the industry of bringing ideas to life,” she says. “The industry of enabling entrepreneurship doesn’t have a title. Yet.”
I’m very aware that Danae and Indiegogo have, rightly, a broad definition of “entrepreneurship” to include pre-startups and artists who want or need to make a living from their art form. (We lack a better word for this too — ‘entrepreneur’ having several interchangeable meanings which are often not much elucidated by context.)
Such folks have little time for, or interest in, the mechanics of business and marketing — which they’d prefer to have ‘done for them’ … which is not always possible for a variety of intrinsic or extrinsic reasons. They need easy to use and powerful services that integrate directly with their fin-tech (aka business account in this case).
Maybe #BizTech, defined as the automation by online services of the functions necessary to create, grow and run a businesses (of any size), could serve this purpose? If not can you suggest a better?
We need to get a handle on this.