Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane

Updated: Mar 24

Part 1 The History of Technology Disruption (250 years of Disruption)

  • "Every generation likes to think it is improving on the last. That progress is inevitable. But the truth is, history as a way of repeating itself. It's just, most people don't live long enough to see it happen."

  • History teaches us that technology is extremely disruptive.

  • Technology adoption happens fast now. It changes us faster than ever now.

  • Soon 3D printers will be in homes printing new products. Faster than Amazon deliveries. When we create a new piece of tech, it gives us the ability to do something faster. So compounding that over and over and over means that we adopt new tech very fast today, compared to when the internet came out.

  • Millennial's are the most comfortable with technology changes

  • Western Union disruption story: The telegraph was abruptly disrupted by the invention of the telephone. Western Union was the largest operator of telegraphs (1876). When Alexander Gram Bell patented the telephone (talking- telegraph in 1876), they offered to sell the patent to Western Union for 100k. Western Union decided to decline the offer. Between 1881 - 1909 AT&T (The Bell Telephone Company) battled Western Union until they acquired a controlling stake in their company. AT&T became a monopoly. The government forced them to nationalize (antitrust lawsuit). Senior public figures were still trying to protect the Telegraph industry.

  • Technology comes at a cost. Apple phone came and basically took out Motorola.

  • Our language & behavior changes, but society adapts.

  • Looking at patterns in the last 250 years will help predict what will happen over the next 30-40yrs. The Augmented Age.


  • The Industrial/Machine Age 1800 - 1945 : A transition to large scale manufacturing processes, focused around producing metals and chemicals. Steam power and automated tools

  • Impact: Touched people daily lives over 50yrs.

  • The first trend we see over and over again. Once a new tech starts to take hold in an industry, there is no successful defense or business model, against it beyond a few years. People will protest.

  • The internet is now in our everyday lives. 1/10 people don't use the internet. 1/19 people don't use a computer (30 mill people in the US). Most people in US jails don't get access to the web. Some say it's to hard, irrelevant, or too poor.

  • There are countries where that put us to shame when it comes to tech adoption: Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, The UAE.

  • The second trend we see is , new tech brings new jobs faster than those lost by these innovations, given enough time.

  • The Industrial Age improved the quality of life. Established the US middle class. Life expectancy was 35. That's crazy

  • The Agriculture industry lost all of it's workers to the textile industry. 5% in 1970. down from 40%

  • The Space Age 1945-1975: R & D in particle science lead to great achievements and devastating weapons.

  • Russia vs US. First man in space almost died. Sputnik by the Russians. 8 missions went to the moon. 6 landed.

  • We haven't returned took 4% of the US budget. It was VERY expensive to go to the moon. The funding was cut, so that's why we haven't been back. We haven't invested in it.

  • Created many more jobs and wealth than it displaced.

  • The Information/Digital Age 1975 - 2015:

  • 3 core laws Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law and Kryder's Law: Computing power, networking, and storage.

  • The NSA stores the amount of the Library of Congress in 6hrs. We deal with sooooo much data.

  • The cloud: Data centers.

  • We predicted the linear growth, but social media created exponential growth.

  • PewDiePie: He gets 10x more views than the entire prime time cables news base. For Gen Y and Gen Z, they are influenced in different places, than the TV. Old people watch TV. Young people watch YT. TV will never be important in the augmented age.

  • Mobile internet drives the world.

  • 2.6 trillion in ecommerce sales and still increasing.

  • Internet use is changing due to the smart phone. In the developing world. China sold more cell phones than the US population. In rural parts of Asia they are starting to selling phones cheaper than $100. This makes access to the internet much more accessible to people it wasn't accessible to before. By 2020, there is supposed to be entry level smart phones for $25. This will give 80% of the world access to the internet. The internet and ecommerce is still in it's infancy. The smart phone as made us more connected than ever.

  • Tech companies are very efficient at producing profit. Walmart's market cap is lower than Alibaba's, but employs more people.

  • In 2013, the 4 biggest banks delivered $61,000 profit per employee. In the same year, the 4 biggest tech companies generated $450,000 per employee. The more tech deployed in an industry, the more money. Tech companies don't employ that many people tho.

  • Advances in computer tech are happening faster than jobs can keep up. Employment has not grown. Income & employment for the middle class has remained stagnant.

  • The Augmented Age: AI, gene altering, imbedded computing. The changes to our world are overtly personal. Our lives will change radically in the next age.

  • We measure changes in months now, not decades.

  • Smart phones are a fact of life. Kids behavioral shifts. Sleeping w/ phones, waking up to phones.

  • Employment patterns. The top jobs will be very different.

  • 1750 80% of people used to live in rural UK. By 2030 just 8% of people will live in rural areas.

  • A resurgence in localized factories as we automate driving, grocery delivery, banking. Certain industries will disappear. Evolve or die.

  • Disruption of information: AI disrupts the nature of advice bc they are better than humans. Hereditary diseases will be eliminated within 2 decades.