Another observation James Quinn brought back with him from Davos is that: “Tech companies are the new Rock Stars”.
Well . . . ever since the 1860s or so beginning with long distance telegraphy, electrification, then the telephone, radio, television and then, finally, personal computers, tech companies have loomed larger in and larger in the shopping basket. In retrospect, however, we tend to foreshorten the lengthy periods they took to develop and then become socially and economically significant. Typically we’re talking of a developmental lag of between two and three generations.
So, if we consider today’s obvious Rock Stars, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple iphones and so on that have been conceived, developed and then sold world-wide well within a decade, what does this mean? Does it mean that all of these will have much wider social implications in the decade or two to come?
Or does it mean that the real Rock Stars in two or three generations’ time are much quieter projects that at present are underestimated because they’re still at research stage? I rather think that the latter will be the case. The use of synthetic DNA in ‘growing’ exotic new materials or even complete customised products, or gene-editing in replacing harmful gene mutations or brain scans in designing bespoke educational experiences for each individual or in re-wilding the world’s natural environment for sheer pleasure. All this and undoubtedly much more that we cannot conceive of is lying ahead.