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⏮ [ Looking back at ] technology, hype, and predictions

You were probably (hopefully?) off the internet for a few weeks. This gives me a fantastic opportunity to look back at what I wrote these last months and kick off September with a curated list of a few articles that you might have missed.
⏮ [ Looking back at ] technology, hype, and predictions
Photo by Jakub Dziubak / Unsplash

The first theme that I end up addressing quite a lot is how when we talk about technology, we get caught in waves of hype and usually fail at predicting how the market will adopt (or not) an invention.

Hype first, think later!

If we start with what's currently hyped to death, it's difficult to avoid discussing web3, cryptos, NFTs, and the Metaverse...

🤑 Is Web3 Only About Greed? (Yes) – Innovation Copilots
Today I wanted to share this article from Ian Bogost[https://www.linkedin.com/in/philippe-icopilots/recent-activity/shares/#] published by The Atlantic about NFT and web3. I have been quite vocal myselfabout my unease (and sometimes plain nausea) about where many are trying to pushthe internet:…
📺 “Abuse on the blockchain” by Molly White
In a recent Standford University lecture, Molly White (now dubbed the “crypto’s biggest critic”) calmly deconstructs all cryptocurrencies sales points in less than 30 min. One of the most educated and clinical discussions by a long shot, surgically cutting through the hype. The main takeaways for m…
👾 Selling pickaxes during the NFT goldrush
Surfing on the growing anger about Apple’s 30% cut on the App Store, back inJune 2021, Zuckerberg announced how he intended to monetize New Horizons (hisnew virtual reality metaverse project): > To help more creators make a living on our platforms, we’re going to keep paidonline events,
☕️ The Metaverse Untold Story – Innovation Copilots
The untold story of the metaverse idea that Facebook (erm, “Meta”) seems to beso desperate to reboot is that, like Google, their revenues depend on adsquasi-exclusively. Facebook and Google’s Ad Addiction Can’t Last ForeverFacebook’s first-ever dropin users is an ominous sign for a business

And for our subscribers (it's free, what are you waiting? 🤗), here's a deep dive on what's the use of non-fungible tokens and what right you get when you buy one:

🔴 Going down the NFT rabbit hole
The title of this article should have been: “I tried to write something about NFT technology in less than 10 min, and I failed miserably.” I did succeed in going down this huge rabbit hole and back, though. Care to join?

Are you looking at the finger or the moon?

Beyond the sheer hype, a recurring discussion about technology is about how we eventually start to understand its market directionality, but rarely what it will precisely unlock in terms of customers' problems. And often, we are caught entirely off-guard by how any given technology creates a market utility. Here are a few articles trying to make sense of this in real-time:

🙉 Have we been thinking of VR horribly wrong?
I’m not going back on why virtual reality, promised for twenty years, is still not here (the technology is ready, but there’s no scalable problem to solve). But lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how slow infrastructure changes create fast-paced market transformations. Probing this line of thin…
🤖 Astro, the useless little domestic robot
Domestic robots are a novelty that Amazon is trying out with a few early-stagecustomers. exploring ahead of the curve. Stitch an iPad and a Rumba together,and you’ll get Astro. Except that Astro won’t vacuum and that to be honest it’spretty useless at this point. Amazon Astro Review:
💼 How e-commerce is still confusing incumbent big retailers
I just read about an intriguing signal about incumbent big retailers. The TL;DR is that companies like Nordstrom or CVS are increasingly tweaking their C-suites structures by naming executives at specific roles to adjust to the explosive growth of e-commerce. Does it read like 2012 news? Kind of.…

Of course, sometimes, technology directionality is sadly easy to predict:

💻 Is Intel dead? (yes)
Intel’s downfall has been ongoing for decades now. While they barreled out ofthe seventies to the eighties as a juggernaut weaponizing the emerging desktopcomputer segment with Microsoft, they entirely missed the mobile market twentyyears later. While still pushing for more powerful chips, the in…

Four our subscribers, an interesting cultural mindset that embraces not giving a damn about technology until it starts to prove useful:

🔴+🟧 Dutch week: Technology and the ‘doe normaal’ mindset
The ‘doe noormal’ Dutch mindset has had a lot of impact on the way this culture deals with technology and innovation. In many cases, this can be an interesting point of view for you too...

Dealing with innovation blindness

Another frequent discussion that many C-level execs still struggle with (not to mention startup founders) is that creating technology is not innovation; it's just invention. Innovation is when you change the market, either in an incremental or disruptive way. But innovation is often hard to compute, especially when it involves an exponential such as Moore's law, network effects, or that we think we need to own patents to be able to produce it. Here are a few articles to shift your mindset about all this:

🔬10 technologies that will shape our next five years
Last week we had one of the numerous forecasts about technology (*) that we’vebeen reading for so many years. 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2022This list represents a glimpse into ourcollective future.MIT Technology ReviewThe Editors[https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/02/23/1045416/10-breakthr…
🧠 Her, a story about exponentials and how we don’t compute them...
In the 2013 movie Her, Joachim Phoenix falls in love with his new mobile/home operating system, an ethereal cloud-based AI played by Scarlett Johansson. This near-future dystopia plays on our interactions with Alexa or Siri could evolve and what it means to be a human being blah blah blah.
🚔 As tech crosses the chasm
A key innovation signal is when technology gets past a certain point of adoptionwith early adopters and finds a beachhead to the early core market. Thistransition is what makes or breaks an innovation--adopting the ‘new’ by saidcore market. In 1991, Geoffrey Moore was the first to formalize

For our subscribers, you can use this often requested framework that I've been using for years (but not sharing quite openly until now 🥷) about the different phases of alignment between technology hype and innovation kicking off in the market:

🔴 Timing technology push and market pull for incubation programs
One of the most requested frameworks I often have from corporate customers is how Gartner’s hype and innovation diffusion work together. To my knowledge, this is weirdly never discussed. So despite this summer’s heat waves here goes...

In the end...

Remember that forecasts are always strategically important for any business. Not because you'll be able to predict how reality will shape but because you will have worked on the underlying mechanisms at play in your market. This means that when things go sideways, you'll be caught off-guard like everyone else, except that you'll be way more prepared to turn around and catch the next wave of opportunities.

But if you just believe in predictions, well... It's on you.

👻 Every forecaster lives at the expense of the listener
While we are entering even more volatile times than two years ago – can you wrap your mind around this? I barely can at this point – it’s worth remembering that our collective brain will seek reassuring perspectives. In the industry, the most reassuring ones are solid forecasts. How do we deal