No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends, was written by McKinsey directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, and offers insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in coming decades. Below, we’re recapping their list of the “Disruptive Dozen”—the technologies the group believes have the greatest potential to remake today’s business landscape.
I saw a remarkable phenomenon yesterday. Cars were lined up waiting to be served by a mobile truck. The latest foodie craze? Kids lined up on a hot day for Kona Ice?
Actually, they were folks lining up with crates of paper to be shredded. The line was at least 20 cars deep. In an age of identity theft and other privacy concerns, Cam Caudle, owner of the Shred360 truck reports heightened interest in his paper and e-waste disposal services.
I got in touch with him because I had a couple of crates of book drafts I needed disposing. That was too small a job for him to drive the truck to us (he services a wide swath across Tampa Bay) so he told me about “shred day”. As a community service, this army veteran periodically drives the truck to a parking lot and shreds limited quantities for free. He would not even accept a donation for the job.
I asked him about his Alpine Evolution truck, and it is one heck of a high-torque engineering marvel. Features include planetary gears, precision-made solid steel shaft, the cameras to allow consumers to watch the shredding process, the robotic arms to lift the carts, a backup camera and numerous other safety features. Some of the bigger trucks can churn through 9,000 lbs of paper an hour. Many of the Alpine trucks now also have a hard drive shredder – up to 10 hard drives chomped up a minute! The video below provides more details.
Back home, I could not help but hum the Monster Mash and mock my poor, little 10 page-at-a-time shredder
If you are local call Cam for your shredding needs or try out one of the growing mobile shredding services in your town.
Roser (a research fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School) is an optimist. He says his charts, which cover everything from African development to violent death rates, unambiguously depict a world that is evolving for the better. Food availability and consumption are up dramatically in every region; around the world, child mortality has fallen precipitously. His favorite recent illustration is a table that shows a striking divergence in literacy rates in the Middle East between 15- to 24-year-olds and people over 65. In country after country, the younger generation’s literacy level is about 90 percent or higher compared to the more senior group. When viewed with another Roser chart that shows a strong correlation between high levels of education and democracy, prospects for the Middle East in upcoming decades become more sanguine.
In fact, the only thing that Roser appears to be pessimistic about is whether policymakers will use this type of historical data to help develop sound economic principles and policy. We should be planning for a future in which things get better with measures that equalize and improve education and tax policy and provide support for raising children in all social strata, he says. Pessimism on the part of policymakers “was more understandable 80 years ago when there was not much data and no computers to correlate it,” he says. “We have no excuse now to keep thinking that way.”
Scrolling through the digital copy of the annual collector issue of Fortune, I am impressed how much technology dominates the contents.
There are articles on ATT, Facebook and Oracle – which you would expect as examples of the tech/telecom sector. But I was particularly impressed by Andrew Nusca’s section on innovators from BP, Caterpillar, GM, Texas Instruments, and Whirlpool. Ditto with pieces on tech and R&D at Union Pacific, Cummins Engine and Pepsi. And columns on bullet trains and the changing web infrastructure.
As an aside, I am quoted in the story on Oracle. I had hoped it would be more on Oracle, but it is actually more focused on Mark Hurd’s background at HP and related gossip. They missed the opportunity to focus on the expanding Oracle cloud portfolio. I posted a comment about that on the article online.
Overall, though the issue is a very enjoyable read.
I have fretted for a number of years journalists at major newspapers and magazines have become pre-occupied with consumer tech, and ignore more complex innovation that happens at GE or Boeing or Corning.
One exception is Ashlee Vance at BusinessWeek. I take time to read his stories and have exchanged thoughts with him every so often. He told me last year he was working on a book on Elon Musk, and knowing his style I knew it would not be simple hero worship.
The book is out, and while it appears flashy like much that comes out of Silicon Valley and the LA area where Musk’s companies, Tesla and SpaceX are based it explores gritty operational and other details and presents lots of gory details of the complex man that is Musk.
“He’s set about building something that has the potential to be much grander than anything Hughes or Jobs produced. Musk has taken industries like aerospace and automotive that America seemed to have given up on and recast them as something new and fantastic. At the heart of this transformation are Musk’s skills as a software maker and his ability to apply them to machines. He’s merged atoms and bits in ways that few people thought possible, and the results have been spectacular. It’s true enough that Musk has yet to have a consumer hit on the order of the iPhone or to touch more than one billion people like Facebook. For the moment, he’s still making rich people’s toys, and his budding empire could be an exploded rocket or massive Tesla recall away from collapse. On the other hand, Musk’s companies have already accomplished far more than his loudest detractors thought possible, and the promise of what’s to come has to leave hardened types feeling optimistic during their weaker moments.”
And there is plenty of humor
“A word of warning: There’s going to be a lot of “fuck” in this book. Musk adores the word, and so do most of the people in his inner circle.”
Get yourself a copy to understand this modern day Hughes, Jobs, Ford and Medici rolled in one.