Digital disruption is a fairly well understood dynamic: new entrant uses technology in new ways to upend existing business models and disrupt markets. In other words, digital disruption is a distinct force with a distinct life span that is mostly external to traditional markets and businesses.
But what if it is more than that? What if it is the canary in the coal mine representing the first signals of a shift in our economy and society? Consider the following:
- 7% of jobs will exit the economy due to automation even if one considers the jobs created specifically by automation. Without the creation of different products or markets (think of the app economy), automation can cause a major shock to developed economies.
- We are already seeing early indications of how high-performing, highly liquid platforms (think Facebook) can extend services and experiences into different industries (e.g. banking and peer-to-peer lending) to blur or pummel traditional industry lines and norms.
- The next step in Uber is self-driving cars which are moving from a cool idea to a reality – and will cause duress or change in automotive, transportation, and insurance markets (let alone public safety norms).
- Artificial intelligence offers up the opportunity to change the health of populations, changing life expectancy, the very nature of diagnostic, surgical, and hospital care, and the economics of health insurance.