Our our world is changing at an incredible pace.
While it is true that our world has been in a constant state of change since just over hundred years ago, it seems that recently the pace of this change has accelerated for some inexplicable reason.
It feels like its getting harder to keep up with this change. This change is unavoidable and pervasive; every aspect of our professional and domestic lives is affected. Just when we get used to doing things a certain way, things change and we have to learn a new way. Just when we get used to one technology, it disappears, and in comes some new, “better”, apparently “easier-to-use” technology.
One day, a certain tech is the king of the hill, and the next, it is king of the garbage dump.
If you have ever doubted that change is in fact accelerating, take a look at the list below. It shows how many years it took for various well-known technologies to reach an audience of 50 million people:
• Telephone: 75 years
• Radio: 38 years
• Television: 13 years
• Internet: 4 years
• Pod: 3 years
• Facebook: 2 years
• Instagram: 19 months
• YouTube: 10 months
• Twitter: 9 months
• Angry Birds: 35 days
• Pokemon Go: 19 days
Even at a glance, it is easy to see the trend that emerges from the list: with each new technology that appeared over the past 120 years, the time taken for widespread adoption by consumers became significantly shorter. Compare the 75 years it took the telephone to reach 50 million homes, to the 19 days it took Pokemon Go. It is simply astounding.
We often hear the word “disruption” being used to describe what is happening in the world, and to our lives, as a result of this breakneck pace of change.
There is no doubt that our lives are being constantly disrupted. But what does disruption really mean? And how more specifically, what does it mean for us and the future of our lives and careers?
Rather than to answer these questions in tedious detail, I will instead present three facts which, I believe, will convey this in a far more impactful manner.
These are coming up in the next three sections of this chapter.