What’s the #1 idea for understanding the disruptive changes in the world today?

Mike Gillam, 3 April 2015

In 1996, Kodak has a $28 billion dollar valuation and 140,000 employees.

Less than two decades later in 2012, Kodak’s lost more than 90% of their value in four years.

In April of 2012, Instagram with 13 employees sold to FaceBook for $1 billion while Kodak’s market cap was $100 million.

What happened? How was Kodak, a company whose foundation was in images, become completely disrupted as a company?

Peter Diamandis has made the claim that humans are evolutionary conditioned to think linearly.  When primitive man saw deer run across the plains, the deer moved linearly.  There were few experiences that moved exponentially that affected our survival. As a result, humans have trouble conceptualizing the impact of exponential trends.

For example, consider sitting in the stands in a stadium into which water is dripping exponentially every second (one drop, two drops, four drops.)  How long before you see the water? How long before you drown? Few humans are able to easily predict that the first time water covers the field is around 45 minutes. Fewer still are able to predict that we drown just *4 minutes* later.

Anticipating exponential trends is key to the survival of companies today.

The striking thing about exponentials is that there is a long period of stasis where it appears that nothing is happening.

Yet during this seemingly quiet moment of stasis, the exponential trend is still building up its power, with a predictable doubling time.

Then there is a moment of detonation and within a blink, change is ubiquitous.

If you consider the stadium example and stretch out the time scale, it means that 45 years it could appear that nothing at all is happening, and then in just 4 years, suddenly everything has changed.

How many trends in healthcare today are on the verge of detonation? Follow Mi2 as we have more to share.

Mike Gillam, MD, FACEP  2015

 

 

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