Everything That Was Sci-Fi When I Was a Kid is Now Real

I was delighted to recently join the BA Insight Shared Insights Podcast to talk about how everything that was Sci-Fi when I was a kid is now real. It’s sometimes hard to remember that fact when sitting in traffic and struggling to hear people on conference calls, or wondering when a download will start… But that’s the way change happens; it isn’t clean. It’s very often messy. In our great discussion we touched on specific themes like:

How hard it is to predict the future.

Even “visionary” shows like Star Trek missed the obvious “one-device” platform reality that we live with. Instead of phasers, tricorders, and communicators, it’s more likely they’d each have one device with many functions – like we have. By my count, a modern smartphone replaces more than 200 previously discrete products.

The way we work with information is changing.

Google is now primarily about the old model of search – finding pages that contain the keywords you entered. Being brought the information you need, getting direct answers to business questions, insight instead of pages to review – is the exciting new model. Glimpses are available everywhere.

Data remains most important.

New devices like smartphones and platforms like cloud are making capture and storage easier than ever. The downside of this is the risk of breaches. That’s offset somewhat by the power of social media to punish those who are casual with customer data. The upside, though, is prediction! It may be hard, but those who cleanse, link, and ultimately interpret the data with human or automated labels can achieve things we might ultimately confuse with science fiction.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to discuss these topics and would be delighted to continue the discussion on Twitter @sidprobstein.  You can listen to the podcast here.