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Global jobs crisis: The exponential change of technology – Part 4

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Managing change in
the 2014-2020 Workplace – Technology

Video 5 continues here

I want to make a really important comment.

By 2040, the largest company is expected to be not more than 1500 people.

But people are not going to wake up the day before 2040 and say, “Wow, look at all the companies, they disappeared. They’re really small.” It’s a continuum.

When I started at Cigna there were 44,000 people.

When I left five years later, which was six years ago or seven years ago, there were less than 22,000. It’s a continuum.

We’re moving towards these things and we’re going to move past these things. But we’re not going to wake up with a big surprise and say, “Look, it’s all here!” Okay, we’re moving in these directions.

Now, how fast are things moving?

Are you amazed at what really smart, credible people wrote in 2009 for 2010 is outmoded two-and-a-half-years later? Is that kind of amazing to you?

Because it asks the question: how can I predict 2020 today and bring you something credible and I’m scared to death sitting up here.

How can I bring value to you? I’ve got to know how fast things are changing.

Let’s take a look. I’ll tell you: It’s changing exponentially and I’d like to talk to you about what exponential means because it’s critical to you as you’re looking at the landscape. So, anybody know this guy? I’ll give you a hint. In 1492 – Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Well there he was, over there, and he sailed the blue ocean all the way to what we see here is Florida.

Now, after he took care of business, and incidentally, he had to write a grant in order to come, just so you know. So when he had fulfilled his grant obligations and emailed back compliance paperwork to ensure that it was time to come home, he decided that, I’m ready to come home. Nice.

But there was a problem. At least he thought so. He had two dollars and he thought to himself, “What am I going to do with these two dollars? They’re not any good at home.” So he decided to go up the street and find himself a couple banks. And so he did.

And he found Simple Bank up the street and across the street from Simple Bank was Community Bank. Simple Bank offered simple interest and Community Bank offered compound interest. You get it? Community – compound, Simple – simple? Well, Christopher Columbus died and just last week. It was very incredible, but two of his relatives were found.

And they found the paperwork!

And this is Sybil, meet Sybil and Cora. And Sybil and Cora were thinking, “I’ve always wanted to go to Florida. Let’s go and see what’s in the bank 521 years later.”

So, Sybil went to Simple Bank and what she learned was this: In 1492, one dollar invested at Simple Bank at five percent interest gave $26.05 plus the dollar. Sybil received $27.05. She was not a happy camper. Sybil was sad. Cora, on the other hand – things looked a lot different for Cora.

Compound interest paid Cora $149,371,498,621.56 plus one dollar was $150,371,498,621.56. She was happy. Her money increased exponentially.

So, simple interest is linear; compound interest is exponential.

Technology is growing exponentially.

  • It’s faster than we can imagine.
  • Faster than we can keep up with.
  • It doubles every 18 months.

What does that mean? Eighteen months? Okay, year-and-a-half.

You ever got a birthday card that speaks?

There’s more technology in that card which will be thrown away than the entire combined allied forces had in 1945. Wow!

And those of you with a cellphone? There’s more technology in your cellphone than we needed to land somebody on the moon in 1969. A PlayStation that costs $300 today has more technology in it than the CRAY supercomputer had in 1997. Impressed? This is moving. This is important.

So, what’s going to happen to computers?

They’re becoming so sensitive. And the cost of a computer chip? Less than that of a sheet of paper. Scrap paper. Less than a penny. So, computer power doubles every 18 months – this is big and it allows us to predict the near future of the computer because we know how fast it’s changing.

Let’s look. Can you see this little transistor here? Little bitty thing on a finger. Tiny, but that’s not the smallest one.

The smallest transistors are 20 atoms wide. So, what does that mean?

If computer technology doubles every 18 months and transistors are 20 atoms wide, in 18 months, they’ll be 10. And in 36 months, they’ll be 5 atoms wide. And in 54 months, 2.5 atoms wide? And then something really remarkable happens. They are so small that they become part of the subatomic world and all the rules change.

Now we have the rules of thermodynamics; we have a different set of quantum mechanics (world?) rules that comes into play and that’s going to change everything.  

Video 5 Global jobs crisis: Tomorrow’s technology is here today

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