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Advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology have the potential to disrupt the rules of the game for every industry.

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In esteemed companies, the future looks shaky

This article was first published on 11 January 2013.

This is a wonderful article.  It pulls together a number of principles of the economics of information to help explain what we’re seeing with organisations today and what we’re likely to see in the future.  

The reference to information economics is important because it means that the discussion about where we might be headed isn’t based on wild speculation.  It is, rather, based on a number of well established theories and principles that have helped explain markets and which, if they continue to hold true, help to explain why the very concept of the organisation (or firm) as we know it is increasingly threatened by the rise of digital technologies.

In this context, one insight specifically worth drawing out is the idea that the reason digital technologies are so dangerous is that they challenge the fundamental relevance of the organisation (company or firm) in its traditional form in the market place of the future.  This is business model innovation and/or disruption at its most extreme.  While it’s extreme it is nonetheless very real.  Crowdsourcing businesses such as kaggle.com, freelancer.com and designcrowd.com are already chipping away (very successfully) at the role traditionally performed by a companies in a number of industries and establishing open markets for individuals around the world.

I would strongly encourage you to read this article slowly all the way through and then read it again.

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