Accelerated Evolution


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Regardless of your personal faith, it’s hard to deny that life evolves and grows forward.Coal turns into diamonds and species all around us are constantly transforming, albeit a very slow process.

But wait, things are picking up steam. This post veers from sales success slightly to address the rapid transformation taking shape in the world around us – accelerated evolution.

Decades ago, there were just a few channels on TV and no remote controls. If you wanted to learn what was happening someplace else, you had to get up and go over and change the channel.

Today, if you want to find something out, you have to pick up your phone or iPad and google the information – or click the remote control.

Tomorrow, you’ll simply have a curious thought and the information will be immediately known to you. More on that later.

Futurist and fellow member of the National Speakers Association, Daniel Burris, has been predicting the future for corporations and government for many years. In his best-selling book, Flash Foresight, he identifies hard trends that will continue:

  • The quest for miniaturization – your digital devices will continue to get smaller
  • Moore’s Law – processing power will continue to increase while costs decline
  • Bandwidth – what used to take minutes to download, happens in a flash
  • Storage – the capacity for big data and informational insight will continue

As an IBMer, I’m upfront and personal to the transformation taking place in the world of technology. Step back a bit and you’ll notice that we’re entering a new age of computing; an era of cognitive computing. The three eras include:

  • Tabulation – computing initially consisted of tabulations; starting as hole punch cards and calculators
  • Programmable – applications and other processing capabilities that were programmed to work
  • Cognitive – thanks to fast processing and the new existence of large amounts of data; computers are starting to think for themselves

We’ve gone from computers the size of buildings doing mathematical calculations and tabulations to programs that serve us well. Now, technologies such as IBM’s Watson and other content analytics advancements, coupled with massive amounts of data and extremely fast processing powers, all combine to create learning machines.

So what about my comments earlier about “have a thought, have an answer?”

Consider the hard trends shown above such as miniaturization. Now consider technologies that are integrated into the body. We’ve been doing this for decades with devices such as pacemakers, heart stints and titanium screws to aid the healing process.

Last year, a company announced tattoo technology that would vibrate when your cell phone was ringing; it was so advanced it even offered Caller ID, which provided a different type of jiggle depending on the caller. Look at the HTC DNA commercial (see blog photo), as they show a phone integrated to the chest. It’s huge. The phones integrated in the future, will most assuredly be much smaller and less intrusive.

Now consider Google’s ultimate vision? To be the ultimate search engine. What does that mean? It means if you have a thought, you have an answer. No longer will you have to get up to change the channel to discover something new, nor will you need to go to your phone to google something. The phone will be integrated into your body. You’ll simply have a curious thought and an answer. The need for learning many things will no longer be a concern.

How many people live in India? Decades ago, you would change the channel and perhaps a show would educate you on that world.Today, you grab your phone and google the answers you seek. Tomorrow, you’ll simply have a curious thought and an answer.

The purpose of this article is not enlighten you about the changes taking place – you can discover that information anywhere. The purpose of this blog is to alert you to the rapid rate at which this change will take place. The technological changes and advancements of the last ten to twenty years are mind boggling. That will pale in comparison to the changes taking place in the next FIVE years.

We have entered an era of cognitive computing and accelerated evolution. Is this frightening to you? I understand. Any change is hard… especially during uncertain economic times.But consider this, technology is not a bad thing; it’s really just an easier way to get something done. Did you recently discover a new route to work; in essence, that is a new technology – a new way to get something done.

Let’s consider an imaginary small island for a moment. Let’s say that this island has ten people and they’re self sustaining and times are good. Each day, three of the islanders go out to the ocean fishing to feed the entire island. They cast their lines in the water and reliably sustain their civilization. Then one day, one of the fishermen invents a fishing net. Now, thanks to this new technology, the island can be feed by the work of just one fisherman. Is this a bad thing? After all, the other two are left unemployed. Ah, but they are now free to go and create value in other areas. Maybe one of them goes and creates music or art, or some other good or service that brings value to the people. In this case, as long as the islanders don’t let the displaced workers starve to death during their personal transition, technology is a good thing.

I’m not making an argument for integrated technology. I’m just trying to raise awareness that it has been here for a long time and will continue to make it’s way into our lives. Is it Terminator? Who knows?

Don’t believe me? Consider the current commercials offered by some of the cell phone makers where they imagine the phone integrated into the chest. They show the phone as a full sized device, but in actuality it will be much smaller.

There are no crystal balls in life, but there are hard trends and we’ve entered an age of cognitive computing and accelerated evolution. The sky’s the limit.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kevin Graham
Kevin Graham is an author, speaker and expert on empowerment, sales and leadership. As managing director of Empowered Sales Training, Kevin works with organizations to empower sales success. Formerly, Kevin was a top performing sales executive in the ultra competitive technology sector. He's qualified for President's Club status in three Fortune 500 companies, carried the Olympic Torch and played in a national championship.


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